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All-Star Break Provides Preds Players Rare Chance For Relaxation

Wednesday, 02.1.2012 / 4:26 PM CT / Features
By Doug Brumley  - Nashville Predators
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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.”

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 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Wilson 8 2 4 2 6
S. Weber 8 2 3 -3 5
R. Johansen 8 2 3 1 5
R. Josi 8 0 4 -3 4
M. Ekholm 8 2 1 1 3
J. Neal 8 2 1 -2 3
F. Forsberg 8 1 2 -4 3
M. Fisher 8 2 0 -4 2
C. Smith 5 1 1 3 2
R. Ellis 8 0 2 0 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 4 4 0 .915 2.53
C. Hutton 0 0 0 .000 0.00