Training Camp Update: Sept 29

Monday, 09.29.2008 / 8:10 PM / Training Camp Central
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
Daily Recap - Monday, Sept. 29 - Training Camp Day 11
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  • Preds Training Camp Central Mainpage

Upcoming Preseason Schedule:
October 2 vs. Carolina
October 3 at Atlanta
October 5 at Carolina

The team returned to on-ice workouts today. Heavy skating continued to be a theme again during drills, with more of an emphasis on five-on-five play and five-man breakouts.

Quote book
Coach Trotz
On how the Opening Night Roster is shaping up…
“It’s something that we have to discuss. Some guys, I’d rather have guys playing. So if a guy is on a two-way (contract) and doesn’t need waivers, some times that plays into it. I really don’t know how we’re going to shake out yet.”

On Alex Sulzer…
“If you talk to Milwaukee coaches, he was their go-to guy last year in Milwaukee. He just matured on and off the ice. On the ice, he was really the stabilizing force on their team last year. He’s trying to make the jump here now and I think he’s trying really hard and I think sometimes by playing a little safe and holding back and saying I don’t want to make a mistake, takes him out of his element. I think he has to play with more ease. As we go along, the more he’s up here, the more he’s playing at this pace, hopefully he’ll get to feel that comfort zone, urgent comfort zone, that he needs to make the hockey team.”

On Mike Ryan…
“I was talking to Mike this morning, there’s nothing really to hide. I’m still trying to find out what his … I’m still trying to put the pieces together of what he is as a player. I see the speed that Mike Ryan has and I talked to him. I asked him, ‘Do you feel like you can be a scorer, a two-way guy. I know you’re not going to drop the gloves and be a tough guy. I’m looking for what your niche is as a player so we can put you in a position to succeed.’ So we had that discussion.”
“We see that he has ability. I know that he can help us. Now where does he fit in and what does he totally bring to the table, is really what I’m trying to still find out. And we still have three games, so we’ll see if we can find that out.”

On the goals for the final week of training camp…
“I think you’re going to try to set things up. What you think might be lines or combinations or at least two out the three guys. I think we’re going to try to get our structure down. We’re trying to get our special teams down. I think that’s going to be a real emphasis this year. We really used the first three games to separate and evaluate and now we have to make some hard decisions.”

On Weber and Suter…
“I think they both played really well. They’ve both had lots of power-play time, lots of penalty killing time, five-on-five. To me both of them just look like they have grown and I know they’re both growing physically, but mentally they’ve grown. They seem to want to be on the ice all the time. It’s not that they never wanted to, but they have a presence on the ice more so than the did last year or the year before. That’s good to see. And they’re productive, Shea and Sutes are among our scoring leaders right now.”

Kevin Klein
On playing three games in three days…
"It was good. Obviously three games in three nights, by the third night I was a little tired, but it’s nice to get the timing back and get used to playing games. Not playing that much last year and having the whole summer without playing a real intense game, it was nice to get the feel of playing a game again."

On today’s practice…
"Today felt pretty good, we had a real intense practice, lots of skating. It felt pretty good."

On whether it’s nice to play a couple of physical games early in training camp…
"For sure. You don’t really get hit too much in camp. And in your summer skates there’s no real body contact. When you come back, that’s the main thing you have to get used to, your body gets a little sore from being pounded. You’re not used to it after those four or five months off. It’s nice to get in there, get hit around, hit some people a little bit, and get the feel of the game back."

Josh Gratton
On his first action in preseason games...
"It was good. The first couple of days of training camp it was kind of hard to get things going because you don’t want to step on the wrong toes or do anything to your own teammates, but those first few games against Columbus, it was nice to get some hits. A fight or two didn’t bother me either. It was fun to get back into it. It’s a good rivalry we have with that team and it’s going to go on all season wrong. I’m looking forward to it."

On the pace of the first week of Training Camp...
"The biggest thing was to come in camp in shape. I felt pretty good and most of the guys were in pretty good shape, so we could adapt to the skating quite easily. But it’s good for the conditioning and it’s not getting much easier. Practices are getting harder as we get down to crunch time in the next couple of weeks heading into the start of the season."

On what direction the coaches have give him heading into this week...
"Now we have to execute everything, worry about our roles. Simple things. We can’t be making small mistakes or taking bad penalties. We just have to get ready for the start of the season. These next three games are critical for everybody to do that."

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