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Thoughts From Practice: April 4

Monday, 04.4.2011 / 12:49 PM CT / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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Thoughts From Practice: April 4
  Thoughts from March 31 Practice
  Thoughts from March 30 Practice
  Thoughts from March 29 Practice
Some news and notes from today's practice session:

- The Preds iced a full five lines of forwards during today's practice. Jordin Tootoo returned to practice after last Thursday's injury at Colorado, while Steve Sullivan and Cal O'Reilly skated with the full team for the first time since their respective injuries. Today's lines during practice were:
  White - Legwand centering Erat & Ward
  Gray - Fisher centering Hornqvist and Kostitsyn
  Green - Smithson centering Halischuk and Tootoo
  Yellow - Geoffrion centering Spaling and Wilson
  Lt Blue - O'Reilly centering Dumont and Sullivan

- Today was a heavy skating day; quick, up-tempo drills without much rest from drill-to-drill.

- Coach Trotz talked about what the team can accomplish this week:
"The challenge for us is to finish as high as we can here. We can still get 101 points. That could put us in the four or five seed pretty easily. Sometimes the tendency is to look at where Calgary or Dallas is or Chicago, but let's forget about that and start looking at the teams ahead of us; those teams have to play against each other (later this week). We have to make sure we're on top of our game and collect as many points as we can; that could mean home ice advantage in the first round."

- Coach Trotz talked about last Saturday's game as preview for playoff intensity for the guys who have never played in a NHL playoff game --- and as a reminder of what's to come for the veterans who have been through past playoff series.
"Those are good experiences. It was ramped up a bit. We've had some of those the last few weeks against Anaheim, Dallas, Los Angeles, so they've already had a little taste of it. But it will get ramped up even more (next week when the playoff officially start). It was a good prelude of things to come for the Blums, Geoffrions, Halischucks."

- Steve Sullivan commented on his first practice back with the team:
"As much as you skate by yourself and push yourself and think you're skating hard, until you get with these guys you realize what the pace is really like.But it feels great to be back out there with the guys; a little bit fatigued, but it was the next step in the progression. I was happy with the way things were going on my own and I just wanted to step it up another notch and see how I felt. I didn't know how long I would last and I ended up making it the whole practice, so that's a good sign. We'll see how I feel tomorrow morning."

- Cal O'Reilly talked his first practice back with the full squad:
"It felt good. I felt better than I thought I'd feel, especially with the ice, with all the other guys out there chopping it up more than I do when I skate on my own. I finished the whole practice without any pain. It's not getting sore, it's not hurting me and I'm getting comfortable out there, so I was able to stay out for an extended time after practice ended just trying to get more of my timing back. Even after an hour of practice I could push myself more. "

- O'Reilly said the pace and intensity was the toughest thing to replicate when skating alone.
"It helped a bit to go through the last few weeks with Sully; to have someone to pass to, skate with, push each other -- it was a big help. But it's playoff time and pace is real high. When it was just me and Sully, we didn't get that same pace, that same intensity. So it's a different step to return to the ice with the full team."

- Legwand pointed out with so many younger players on the roster (Blum, Halischuk, Geoffrion, Lindback have never played in an NHL playoff game & Hornqvist only has two games of NHL playoff experience), Saturday's game can end up paying dividends when the playoffs start; it can serve as a little bit of a bridge between regular season pace and playoff pace.
"They've played in big games back in college and juniors, so they have some of that type of experience, but obviously the scale escalates by 10 up here (in the NHL). They've been good, they've been strong in those types of games for us the last few weeks. I think Saturday gave us a look at the playoff pace and intensity. We didn't get the outcome we wanted, but we can learn from that, move on and get these last couple of games."





1 CHI 58 36 18 4 160 134 76
2 DAL 55 35 15 5 178 147 75
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 53 32 18 3 146 124 67
5 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
6 ANA 53 26 19 8 120 125 60
7 COL 57 28 25 4 153 158 60
8 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
9 MIN 54 23 21 10 133 134 56
10 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
11 ARI 53 24 23 6 139 163 54
12 CGY 53 25 25 3 143 156 53
13 WPG 54 24 27 3 139 157 51
14 EDM 56 22 29 5 138 168 49


R. Josi 54 11 27 -3 38
F. Forsberg 54 17 18 -7 35
S. Weber 54 14 21 -5 35
M. Ribeiro 54 6 27 2 33
J. Neal 54 19 13 18 32
M. Ekholm 54 6 18 3 24
R. Ellis 53 6 16 2 22
C. Smith 54 11 7 -2 18
C. Jarnkrok 53 9 8 0 17
C. Wilson 37 4 12 -1 16
P. Rinne 20 18 7 .903 2.54
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36