• PRINT
  • RSS

Morning Skate Report: Dec. 8

Tuesday, 12.8.2009 / 1:09 PM CT / Preview
By Jena Smith  - NashvillePredators.com
X
Share with your Friends


Morning Skate Report: Dec. 8
The Predators will face the Vancouver Canucks tonight in the first of five games on Nashville’s schedule in the next eight days. While the coaching staff and players are taking it one game at a time the importance of keeping mentally and physically tough is also being talked about.

“It’s managing their rest and work ratio,” Preds head coach Barry Trotz explained. “When you have a lot of games the body can do amazing things; it’s when the mind starts to get tired that your body goes. Whatever your mind thinks your body will follow. So if you feel like you are tired mentally then you’re going to be tired physically.”

Not only is the upcoming schedule very condensed for the Preds but the next four games are with opponents in the Western Conference; the Canucks, the Columbus Blue Jackets (twice), and the Detroit Red Wings. Entering play tonight, all are within three points of Nashville in the standings.

Game Inside the Game
Discipline will be a key to tonight’s outcome. The Preds, as a team, have 31 more hits than the Canucks this season, but Nashville has been able to balance the physical play while staying out of the penalty box. The Preds have been one of the league’s most disciplined teams this season; they are the second least penalized team in the NHL with 8.7 penalty minutes per game and have been shorthanded just 92 times in 29 games (3.17 times per game) – also the second fewest in the league. By contrast, Vancouver is the fourth most penalized team with 15.6 penalty minutes per game – and their 28 major or misconduct penalties rank among the most in the league. The Canucks play some of their best hockey when the games get “chippy” – they’re 7-3-0 in games when they collect 15-or-more penalty minutes.

The Preds need to stay disciplined, stay focused on their game and take advantage of any power-plays the Canucks are willing to hand them; Vancouver’s struggling penalty kill unit has allowed 11 opponent power-play goals in the past 12 games.
--Jay Levin, NashvillePredators.com
“These three teams are right behind us. At the end of this week we could be in good position and have made some ground on these teams and separate ourselves or we could be saying we haven’t made any ground.” Trotz stated.

“I don’t think there is going to be a whole lot of separation after 82 games but any time you go head-to-head those are important games, almost playoff style.”

As a result, the playoff-style battle will begin tonight when the puck drops against Vancouver. This will be the first match up between the Predators and the Canucks this season.

“They are a good team so we need to get back going to the way we had been playing,” Defenseman Ryan Suter stated. “We have watched a lot of tape on them; it’s going to be an exciting game, we just need to play hard.”

Coach Trotz gave much credit to the Canucks ability to forecheck and shorten the zone. “They are in your face and they play with some grit. And when all else fails they have (Roberto) Luongo in net.”

Also starting with tonight’s game Trotz is looking for his men to be focused on hockey while on home ice. Trotz spoke on how easy it is to get distracted when home for a period of time by those things out side of the rink, especially in the holiday season. He stressed that it much harder for the home teams than the away.

JP Dumont added, “When you are on the road you have the chance to relax a little bit between games. When you are at home, with a lot of games, there are a lot of things on the out side with your family and friends in town, you have to try to keep your energy and focused.”


SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33