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Preds Pick Up Pace of Practice Heading Into Opening Night

Wednesday, 09.30.2009 / 3:40 PM CT / Training Camp Central
By Jena Smith  - NashvillePredators.com
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Preds Pick Up Pace of Practice Heading Into Opening Night
The Predators were back at Centennial Sportsplex this morning for another demanding training camp practice. A few veteran bodies have returned to team practice after injuries kept them away for a majority of camp, however after a series of transactions the past few days, the roster has been cut to 25.

Wade Belak and Steve Sullivan, held out of this past weekend’s games due to groin injuries, were back on the ice today. The veteran players voiced that it was more important for them to have taken the needed time off and fully heal in order to be healthy and productive for the regular season slate ahead.

Lines from today’s practice were:
White: Jason Arnott, J.P. Dumont, Steve Sullivan
Gray: Martin Erat, David Legwand, Mike Santorelli
Red: Marcel Goc, Partric Hornqvist, Ryan Jones
Yellow: Wade Belak, Ben Guite, Jerred Smithson

Sullivan, a regular in practice late last week, joked around about the impact of missing last weekend’s games. “I was out for 22 months, so missing two games? I was only scheduled for one more game after that [the game he left], so I really only missed one preseason game. I’m not too worried about it. I still have a whole week of practice. We will get a good game in on Saturday and then another four days of good practice, so I’m not worried about it at all.”

As for Belak, he feels that being a veteran and being around the game makes it a lot easier to get back into play after missing time. “I feel I’m ready. I was able to play two periods of a hockey game, so I was able to get my feet wet a little there. We have a lot of practice to get into it, but I have been playing the game for a long time. After a period or so you’re right back into the game.”

Francis Bouillon, signed by the Preds to a one-year contract today, missed a great deal of training camp, but got a chance to play in the final preseason game in Columbus on Sunday. Head Coach Barry Trotz, however, has no reservations about Bouillon’s preparations for Opening Night.

“He has to catch kind of a moving train but he is a pro and I think the pros are able to manage the game pretty good. He has almost 500 games under his belt; I’m trusting his instincts will pull him through.”

As for the personnel moves of the last two days, the Preds reassigned six players to Milwaukee including defensemen Cody Franson, Alexander Sulzer and Nolan Yonkman and forwards Triston Grant, Peter Olvecky, and Cal O’Reilly. Trotz commented that all of those guys proved himself capable of playing for the big club, so having that sort of talent at the AHL level only gives Nashville a larger amount of depth within the organization.

Injury Update: Joel Ward and Colin Wilson were both placed on IR today in advance of the Opening Night roster. Ward skated on his own today and the plan is for Wilson to resume skating on his own by the end of the week.

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 55 35 16 4 153 127 74
2 DAL 52 33 14 5 169 137 71
3 STL 54 29 17 8 128 128 66
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 50 27 19 4 145 132 58
6 COL 54 27 23 4 146 148 58
7 ANA 50 25 18 7 111 115 57
8 NSH 52 24 20 8 130 137 56
9 MIN 51 23 19 9 126 122 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 51 20 19 12 119 138 52
12 CGY 50 22 25 3 130 147 47
13 WPG 51 22 26 3 132 148 47
14 EDM 52 21 26 5 130 151 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 52 10 27 -4 37
S. Weber 52 13 20 -6 33
J. Neal 52 18 13 16 31
M. Ribeiro 52 6 25 1 31
F. Forsberg 52 14 16 -9 30
M. Ekholm 52 6 16 1 22
R. Ellis 51 6 15 0 21
C. Smith 52 11 6 -1 17
C. Wilson 36 4 12 0 16
C. Jarnkrok 51 8 7 -3 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 19 17 7 .903 2.51
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36