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Returning Home: Preds Prep For Week Of Home Games

Monday, 10.24.2011 / 3:00 PM CT / Features
By Bryan Mullen
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Returning Home: Preds Prep For Week Of Home Games
The Nashville Predators were practicing at home on Monday after an eight-day road trip. And there were some reasons to be happy.

One of them?

“Sleeping in your own bed,” Captain Shea Weber said with a laugh.

And another?

“Being able to stay put for awhile, and having our crowd really help us get that momentum we want,” Weber added.

The Predators will hear the home crowd all week as Nashville begins a three-game homestand on Tuesday against San Jose (7 p.m.) at Bridgestone Arena. Nashville (3-3-1) lost its first two games of the road trip last week, but bounced back at Calgary on Saturday with a 2-0 victory. The club is hoping the win will serve as springboard for as it attempts to win its first home game of the season.

“We managed to salvage a bit of the trip there,” Predators forward Jerred Smithson said. “It was pretty frustrating, the first two games. But once we kind of established our forecheck in the Calgary game, things started going our way a little bit. We want to keep the snowball rolling a bit, bring it home here and put together a good performance tomorrow night.”

The Predators spent Monday’s practice at Centennial Sportsplex working on several parts of their game, including improving on breakouts and getting more shots on net.

“It’s getting closer,” Weber said. “Even in the last part of the week, we did improve as a team. We are continuing to work hard and focusing on those things at practice. We’re going to get better and better as the season goes on.”

The Predators have also been working on taking some of the pressure off goaltender Pekka Rinne, who has been facing too many shots for Nashville’s liking. Rinne is tied for second in the NHL in shots against (211). The only goaltender who has faced more is Columbus’ Steve Mason (221), but Mason has played one more game than Rinne.

San Jose (3-3-0) will prove to be a good test considering it has won two games in a row and has scored 18 goals thus far, three more than Nashville.

“They’re always good,” Smithson said. “They have a lot of skill and are a big team. They play physical if they want, but can also play the skill game. For us, we have to get our skating legs under us early, establish our forecheck, play tight defensively, and maybe not rely on Pekka so much. We know he can make the save back there, but we can’t let them throw 40 shots on net every night.”

The Predators could receive some good news for Tuesday’s game. Nashville Coach Barry Trotz said “there’s a chance” that forward Mike Fisher (upper-body) and defenseman Francis Bouillon (upper-body) could play against San Jose. Both practiced the entire time with the team on Monday.

“We can be a lot of better and we will be,” Trotz said. “We’ve been in this position a few times in the past where we’ve had lots of change. We are really young up front. We were the youngest team in the league when we had Bouillon, Fisher and (Marty) Erat in our lineup. They weren’t in our lineup (last week) so we’re even younger. Some of that poise and trust isn’t quite there, but that will come.”

Forward Line Combos at today's practice:
   White - Hornqvist, Legwand, Wilson
   Gray - Fisher, Kostitsyn, Smith
   Yellow - Smithson, Spaling, Tootoo
   Green - Geoffrion, Halischuk, McGrattan
   Lt Blue - Bergfors, O'Reilly

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 57 36 17 4 158 130 76
2 DAL 54 34 15 5 174 145 73
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 52 32 17 3 144 119 67
5 SJS 52 28 20 4 149 138 60
6 ANA 52 26 19 7 117 122 59
7 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
8 COL 56 27 25 4 149 155 58
9 MIN 53 23 20 10 130 130 56
10 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
11 ARI 53 24 23 6 139 163 54
12 CGY 52 24 25 3 138 151 51
13 WPG 53 24 26 3 137 151 51
14 EDM 55 21 29 5 133 166 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
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
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 18 7 .903 2.54
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36