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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 CHI 58 36 18 4 160 134 76
2 DAL 55 35 15 5 178 147 75
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 54 33 18 3 151 128 69
5 COL 58 29 25 4 155 160 62
6 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
7 ANA 53 26 19 8 120 125 60
8 NSH 55 25 21 9 142 148 59
9 ARI 54 25 23 6 143 164 56
10 MIN 54 23 21 10 133 134 56
11 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
12 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
13 WPG 54 24 27 3 139 157 51
14 EDM 56 22 29 5 138 168 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 55 11 29 -2 40
F. Forsberg 55 18 18 -7 36
S. Weber 55 14 21 -5 35
M. Ribeiro 55 6 28 3 34
J. Neal 55 20 13 18 33
M. Ekholm 55 6 19 3 25
R. Ellis 54 6 16 2 22
C. Smith 55 11 7 -1 18
C. Jarnkrok 54 9 8 0 17
C. Wilson 38 4 12 -1 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 18 8 .902 2.57
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36