All-Star Break Provides Preds Players Rare Chance For Relaxation

Wednesday, 02.1.2012 / 4:26 PM CT / Features
By Doug Brumley  - Nashville Predators
X
Share with your Friends


All-Star Break Provides Preds Players Rare Chance For Relaxation
While Predators All-Star defensemen Shea Weber and Ryan Suter were skating alongside the National Hockey League’s biggest names last Sunday afternoon in Kanata, Ont., their Nashville teammate Jordin Tootoo was over 1,000 miles away, tweeting from his iPhone. “Had a great few days relaxing and rejuvenating the body in South Beach,” he typed. “Now it's time to make the playoff run with a great group of guys.”

Tootoo, like the majority of his teammates and fellow players throughout the league, wasn’t fortunate enough to get an All-Star nod from the NHL. While many would certainly welcome the honor, most seem just as pleased to find a little down time amid an 82-game schedule filled with aches, back-to-back matches and jet lag.

“I was deep-sea fishing,” Tootoo, a 28-year-old native of Nunavut, Canada, tells me. “It kind of reminded me of back home. That’s part of my getaway when I’m in the off-season. I love fishing and hunting.”

Predators center Mike Fisher made similar plans, teetering along the limits of cell phone coverage while exploring the Florida Everglades and chartering his own deep-sea fishing expedition.

“It’s a time to kind of get your mind away from the game,” Fisher says. “Everything is game after game, practice at the rink every day, and traveling. So it’s nice to kind of get your mind away from it. Rest up a little bit. Get ready for that push for playoffs. It comes at a great time. Most of the guys were able to get away and have a really good, relaxing time.”

One might think that teams who approach the break on a roll—like Nashville did this season—would prefer that there be no break at all, no opportunity to snap the momentum. Yet Nashville head coach Barry Trotz sees a lot of value in the league-wide vacation.

“I think it’s necessary for all the players in the league really,” Trotz says. “Not only our team but for everybody in the league, just with the intensity of the schedule, the number of games, the travel—especially for the Western teams. … You’re going to see better hockey because of it.”

Trotz took time away from the game too.

“I was like a player. I took four or five days off,” he says. “I turned the switch on about 1:00 [p.m. Sunday] afternoon, got myself back in here. I peaked a little early. At 6:30 [a.m. Monday] I was in here and there was not a soul here.

“As a coach, and I can just speak for me, I need that break. I think it’s good not only for me, it’s good for my family, just for our mental state of health.”

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