Thoughts From Practice: Feb. 22

Tuesday, 02.22.2011 / 12:50 PM / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
Thoughts from Monday's Practice
Instant Analysis: Tuesday's Roster Moves
 Tom Callahan's Game Day Update: Tue at CBJ
A couple notes from today's practice:

- Jon Blum and Mark Dekanich arrived from Milwaukee today. Both players participated in Morning Skate with the team.


- Sergei Kostitsyn will miss tonight's game, but is expected back for Thursday night's game vs. Chicago.


- Based on practice yesterday, it looks like Colin Wilson will begin tonight's game as a center. Most of the season he's been playing wing. I talked to Wilson about the switch, "On the wing I'm playing more along the boards, especially in the offensive end. But I think I'm more of a natural centerman. That's where I've played since I was four years old, so it should come back to me pretty quickly when I play there tonight. The biggest adjustment is really just more responsibilities defensively as a center. You have to pick up guys in your own zone when they're wheeling around. As a center you have to move more and keep in communication with your defensemen. As a winger you're usually responsible for the defenseman on the point, and many defensemen don't move around that much in the offensive zone, so you can usually just eye them and help out down low. You need more communication and detail in your game as a center."


- I spoke with Preds Assistant General Manager Paul Fenton to get the lastest updates on Milwaukee's play. He started by noting the quality play from the goaltending performances for the Admirals. With Dekanich recalled today, I asked Fenton about Jeremy Smith. After spending most of last season in the ECHL, Smith has established himself in the AHL this year with a 10-4-1 record, 2.27 goals against average, and .923 save percentage...
"Jeremy played very well the year before in Cincinnati, winning a championship. There have been so many guys who have played at the ECHL level and come up and been successful as NHL goalies. And this year I think it’s just a progressive step. He’s been much better. He’s adapted to the pro level a lot more. He’s been able to get up to the speed of the American league and as a result has been able to earn the confidence of his teammates. A lot of times that’s one of the most important things. When your team plays with confidence in front of you it just gives you a different look or feel as a player. Sometimes it takes guys just a little more time to get comfortable in their environment, get comfortable as a pro. He’s helped his own career by sticking with the program and developing his game."


- On the subject of goaltenders, I caught up with Preds Goaltending Coach Mitch Korn to talk about the progress of Jeremy Smith. Smith went 2-0-0 last weekend with a 2-1 shootout win on Friday night and a 3-0 shutout win on Saturday...
"He had a great weekend. I’m thrilled for death for Jeremy. He has come so far in terms of his training, in terms of his demeanor, and in terms of his performance. Let’s not forget he did win an ECHL Championship last year. He had quite a good first pro year at the Coast level. So it’s great to see it translate to success in the American league."


- Assistant GM Paul Fenton also commented on the recent play of Milwaukee rookie forward Gabriel Bourque. Bourque scored the game-winning shootout tally in Friday night's Admirals win and backed it up with a key goal in Saturday's win. He has seven points and the shootout conversion in eight games during the month of February to raise his season totals to nine goals and 21 points with a +9 plus/minus rating in 54 games this season...
"He's probably flown under the radar for the people who don’t know the energy that Gabriel brings every night, but he’s been one of our most consistent players in Milwaukee the entire year. Whenever we have internal scouting discussions about guys who can help us here (in Nashville) and be energy type of guys, his name is one of the tops on the list because of his tenacity, his ability to contribute every night on both ends of the ice. When you watch their games, he’s a guy who cuts no corners; he’s the hardest working guy, just relentless in everything he does. From his approach to the game. And that’s what makes him so difficult to play against. And that’s why he’ll be a very good player for us here in the near future in Nashville."

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43

 
 

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