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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 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