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And We're Underway: Preds Training Camp Day 1

Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 7:30 AM CT / Training Camp Central
By Bryan Mullen
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And We\'re Underway: Preds Training Camp Day 1
Now the real work begins.

After a summer of staying in shape and informal skates, the Nashville Predators hit the ice today at Centennial Sportsplex and began their first official workout of 2011-12 training camp. The players will spend the next three weeks working on a wide range of areas before opening the regular season on Oct. 7 at Columbus. (click here for training camp roster and practice groups)

For most veterans, training camp is a study in quick progressions, starting with retraining in fundamentals before phasing into the more complex and nuanced areas of the game.

“I think it has to start with the little things, positional play and getting back to the good habits and out of that summer hockey phase when you’re just swinging and always going for goals,” Predators forward Jerred Smithson said. “It doesn’t take too long. You get right into systems and team play and the bigger picture, which is working as a whole and winning hockey games.”

Focusing on the big picture and the team mentality is a common approach by the returning players, but they will also be attempting to improve individually.

“For me personally, I just want to bring my maturity to the game,” Predators forward Jordin Tootoo said. “When you come into camp with the right mindset, good things happen. It’s been an exciting year for me and I’m happy to be back around the boys. I’m looking forward to big year from the team and for me personally.”

It wouldn’t appear that star goaltender Pekka Rinne – a Vezina Trophy finalist in 2010-11 – has much to improve on, but don’t tell him that.

“I’m really focused and I want to continue from last season,” Rinne said. “In the past, I’ve had a couple of slow starts. I try to learn every year what to do better and what to be ready for. I want to work on my game, little by little. Training camp is obviously intense. It will be fast paced and there will be a lot of action. You get your body ready during the summer, but this is different on the ice and with the guys.”

There will be plenty of new faces, but also young ones. The training camp roster features 55 players and 50 are younger than 30. That doesn’t mean all of them are wide-eyed entering camp, however.

“We’re one of the youngest teams in the league, but we’re not necessarily inexperienced,” Predators Coach Barry Trotz said. “A lot of the guys who should be in our lineup this season played in the playoffs last year and they played the last 20 games. I’ll tell you what, from a development process, 35 to 40 games on the back end of a season and a deep playoff run, those are really, really more beneficial than the front 40.”

The Predators start training camp with two practices before playing three games in a row. The first two are on Monday at Florida (2 p.m. CT; 6:30 CT) and the third game is scheduled for Tuesday at 6 p.m. CT at Washington.
SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

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PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 DAL 56 36 15 5 182 150 77
2 CHI 59 36 18 5 162 137 77
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 54 33 18 3 151 128 69
5 ANA 54 27 19 8 123 127 62
6 COL 58 29 25 4 155 160 62
7 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
8 NSH 56 26 21 9 147 148 61
9 ARI 54 25 23 6 143 164 56
10 MIN 55 23 22 10 135 138 56
11 VAN 55 22 21 12 127 149 56
12 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
13 WPG 55 25 27 3 139 157 53
14 EDM 57 22 29 6 138 168 50

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 56 11 31 0 42
F. Forsberg 56 18 18 -7 36
S. Weber 56 15 21 -2 36
M. Ribeiro 56 6 30 3 36
J. Neal 56 21 14 19 35
M. Ekholm 56 6 19 3 25
R. Ellis 55 6 16 2 22
C. Jarnkrok 55 11 8 2 19
C. Smith 56 11 7 -1 18
R. Johansen 16 4 12 6 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 18 8 .902 2.57
C. Hutton 6 2 1 .924 2.10