Game 1 - Morning Skate
A relatively low-key morning skate today in Glendale. The Coyotes took their morning skate out at their practice facility around 30 minutes away from Jobing.com Arena, so the Preds had the main rink to themselves this morning.
In general it was a very business-like approach by the Preds today. The players all commented on focusing on the task at hand; getting off to a better start in Round 2 this year than they did last year. Judging from practice sessions this week back in Nashville, the Preds do look noticeably sharper in practices this year than they did last year. Last season the coaches expressed concern over the way the team was practicing ... and it proved prophetic as the Preds were not at their sharpest in Game 1 at Vancouver. This year the coaches are much more comfortable with the pace and execution level the team has displayed in practices.
Hal Gill took the optional skate and will get the go tonight. Other than that, Coach Trotz was coy about his roster for tonight. Brandon Yip, Craig Smith, and Matt Halischuk appear to be the top options as wingers on the fourth line with Paul Gaustad. Smith was the first of the three off the ice tonight, which usually signifies that he's in the lineup; Smith tends to be one of the last guys off the ice when he's a scratch.