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Tootoo's Impact & More From Wednesday's Practice

Wednesday, 10.26.2011 / 2:22 PM CT / Features
By Bryan Mullen
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Tootoo\'s Impact & More From Wednesday\'s Practice
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A few years ago, Jordin Tootoo would have dropped his gloves and started punching.

Instead, the Predators forward knew the situation, kept his cool and put his team in position to be successful.

It happened with 8:10 remaining in the third against San Jose on Tuesday. The Sharks were leading 1-0 and Tootoo got under the skin of San Jose’s Ryane Clowe, who threw his gloves to the ice. Tootoo didn’t react, and Clowe was called for an unsportsmanlike penalty.

Moments later, Nashville’s Craig Smith tied it with a power play goal.

“It was a point in the game when we needed to create some energy and that was the right time,” said Tootoo, who drew another penalty earlier in the third.

This is not a kinder, gentler Tootoo. It’s a smarter, more mature Tootoo. The 28-year-old forward has been playing with a pace and tenacity rarely seen during his professional career, which is saying something considering those have long been strengths to his game. He has perfected the role of agitator and has been one of Nashville’s bright spots since the 2011-12 season began.

“Right now he has good energy,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “He’s as fit as he’s ever been and he’s got good clarity. I think he wants to get on the score sheet a little bit, and he will because he’s playing a solid game.”

Tootoo, who leads Nashville with 19 hits, continues to be an intimidating presence when battles for the puck are involved. Against San Jose, Trotz moved him up to a line with Wilson and Legwand to use that ability as an advantage.

“Not only does he have great speed, but if I know if Jordin Tootoo is breathing down my neck to retrieve a puck, I’d be a little nervous to go get the puck,” Trotz said. “If you’re getting nervous to go get the puck, then we’re getting the puck.”

Tootoo also has 12 shots on goal, the same amount as Wilson and one more than Legwand. But he has only one assist and no goals in the first eight games of the season. Still, Tootoo is not discouraged.

“When you do the same things over and over, at some point something has got to give,” Tootoo said. “I have to keep bringing my energy and work ethic. Right now, I’m not getting any bounces, but it will come if you just keep the right mindset. If you keep plugging away, good things will happen eventually.”

Injury update: Forward Patric Hornqvist did not practice with the team on Wednesday. Trotz called it a maintenance day. Hornqvist has been battling a lower-body injury.

“He’ll be fine, Trotz said. “He’s good to go.”

Forward Martin Erat (upper body) practiced with the team on Wednesday.

“He’s getting real close,” Trotz said. “I don’t know exactly if he will be in tomorrow. We’re hoping he comes back in one of these couple of games here.”

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HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 26 37 15 63
M. Ribeiro 82 15 47 11 62
R. Josi 81 15 40 15 55
S. Weber 78 15 30 15 45
C. Smith 82 23 21 11 44
C. Wilson 77 20 22 19 42
M. Fisher 59 19 20 4 39
J. Neal 67 23 14 12 37
R. Ellis 58 9 18 8 27
S. Jones 82 8 19 3 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 41 17 6 .923 2.18
C. Hutton 6 7 4 .902 2.61