O'Reilly Ready For Breakout Season

Saturday, 09.10.2011 / 8:45 AM / Training Camp Central
By Bryan Mullen

The moment remains clear in Cal O’Reilly’s mind, as well as for those who witnessed it.

It was Jan. 2 and the Nashville Predators were playing Columbus at Bridgestone Arena. Midway through the third period, O’Reilly fell awkwardly to the ice. The forward gave a valiant effort and tried to crawl to the bench, but play was stopped so he could be helped from the ice.

“I knew right away something was bad,” O’Reilly said earlier this week.
Tests revealed a broken fibula in his right leg. He did not play another game in 2010-11.

Flash to the present. During informal skates being held this week at Centennial Sportsplex, O’Reilly was buzzing around the ice, showing his skills and strengths and proving he is fully healthy.

“I feel great, 100%,” O’Reilly said. “I have the strength back in that leg. Strength-wise and power-wise, I feel just as good as I’ve felt coming into any camp.”

O’Reilly, who turns 25 on Sept. 30, was a bright spot for the Predators early last season. He had a three-assist game against St. Louis in Nashville’s third game of the regular season. During a five-game stretch in November, O’Reilly had three goals and an assist. And Nashville won three of those five games.

“He was one of our - if not our - best offensive player to start the year,” Predators Captain Shea Weber said. “He had a lot of points and was contributing a lot. Hopefully he can build off that confidence. He looks strong and ready to go.”

Following the injury, O’Reilly worked hard to get back by the end of the regular season. It resulted in him being available for part of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But O’Reilly did not record any ice time during the playoff run.

“I understand where (the coaching staff) was coming from,” O’Reilly said. “The team was doing great and I hadn’t played since Jan. 2. It’s tough to just throw a guy in there. I understand that.”

O’Reilly, who had six goals and 12 assists in 38 games last season, will be counted on in 2011-12. He said he trained “full-out” for most of the summer. Now, entering this season, O’Reilly may be more dangerous than ever. He has more experience (80 total NHL games played) and is stronger and healthier than years past.

“I want to come in, have a great start and help this team win,” O’Reilly said.

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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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