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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 - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33