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Preds Practice Report: Morning Skate vs. Edmonton

Tuesday, 11.22.2011 / 12:25 PM CT / Features
By Bryan Mullen
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Preds Practice Report: Morning Skate vs. Edmonton
One point won’t be good enough tonight.

That’s from the mouths of Nashville’s players.

The Predators wrap up their five-game home stand at Bridgestone Arena against Edmonton, and while this has been a successful stretch, Nashville wants to end it with a win.

“Every point is huge,” Preds forward Nick Spaling said. “But we want to take advantage of being at home and collect our points while we’re here. Tonight would be a big two points for us before we head out on the road. We’re really focusing in on this last home game.”

Edmonton (10-8-2) may pose a stiff test for Nashville (10-5-4). The Oilers were one of the NHL’s worst teams last season, but with plenty of young scoring threats who are gaining more experience, Edmonton could be a playoff contender this year.

“They have a lot of skill,” Spaling said. “They have a mix of younger players and older guys and they’re all able to make plays. It’s a dangerous team, especially offensively. We have to be careful and be aware of that. We need to play our game here and try to control the puck on their end.”

Despite Edmonton losing 4-1 at Dallas on Monday, Nashville Coach Barry Trotz is quick to point out Edmonton’s dominating 9-2 win against Chicago on Saturday. In that game, the Oilers scored four power play goals and Taylor Hall had a hat trick. The line of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan Smyth and Jordan Eberle combined for 10 points, which included Nugent-Hopkins’ five assists.

“They have lots of speed,” Trotz said. “That’s one thing that jumps out. They have skill and speed up front and they’re getting good goaltending. They’re getting real good defensively, but they’re a little bit banged up on the blue line. (Against Chicago), it didn’t matter. They didn’t have to be too good defensively. They scored nine goals.”


Managing Rinne: Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne is tied for the NHL lead in games played (18), games started (18), and leads the league in shots faced (572). The Nashville coaching staff, including goaltending coach Mitch Korn, is well aware of Rinne’s ice time and is finding ways to limit his workload.

“Mitch usually has a real good rapport with Pekka, and I allow Mitch to manage that,” Trotz said. “We discuss scheduling his games and talking about practice. It’s more about the everyday routine and managing that.”

Rinne has learned to pick his spots in practice and at morning skates.

“In the past, if he was the goalie going out there to start, he used to skate every game day,” Trotz said. “He’s not doing that anymore. Our morning skates and generally optional. We’ve sort of convinced him to take the optional a little more. That’s his maturity coming through. Young guys never take the optional. They say, ‘I’m supposed to skate. That’s what I’ve always done.’ But at the same time, when you’re an elite player and you know you’re going to be on the ice for large minutes, you have to take it.”

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 56 36 16 4 158 128 76
2 DAL 53 33 15 5 170 142 71
3 STL 55 30 17 8 132 129 68
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 51 27 20 4 147 138 58
6 NSH 53 25 20 8 136 139 58
7 COL 55 27 24 4 148 152 58
8 ANA 51 25 19 7 113 121 57
9 MIN 52 23 20 9 127 126 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 52 20 20 12 120 142 52
12 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
13 WPG 52 23 26 3 136 150 49
14 EDM 54 21 28 5 132 164 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 53 10 27 -2 37
S. Weber 53 14 21 -4 35
F. Forsberg 53 15 18 -6 33
M. Ribeiro 53 6 27 3 33
J. Neal 53 19 13 18 32
M. Ekholm 53 6 16 3 22
R. Ellis 52 6 15 2 21
C. Smith 53 11 6 -1 17
C. Jarnkrok 52 9 7 0 16
C. Wilson 36 4 12 0 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 17 7 .904 2.50
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36