Morning Skate Report: Feb. 27 vs. Los Angeles

Monday, 02.27.2012 / 2:21 PM / Features

The Nashville Predators are facing the Los Angeles Kings 7 p.m. tonight at Bridgestone Arena, wrapping up a four-game homestand that has seen the Preds collect five of six available points.

Judging solely on the media questions following Monday's morning skate you wouldn’t have known about the game. The topic du jour, of course, was the trade deadline and Nashville’s morning acquisition of Andrei Kostitsyn from Montreal for second- and fifth-round picks in 2013.

The first player that the media descended upon after today’s morning skate was Andrei’s younger brother, Sergei, who came to the Predators in a trade from Montreal in June 2010. Sergei said he had yet to talk to Andrei, but would be calling him soon. “I think he’s going to be more happy here and I think his production is going to go up,” Sergei said.

“You won’t get the smile off Sergei’s face this morning, that’s for sure,” said Predators alternate captain Mike Fisher, himself a February acquistion by the Preds last year.

The brothers played on the same line some in Montreal, but don’t look for that to be the case in Nashville—at least not at first. With the Predators’ top line of Fisher, Sergei Kostitsyn and Martin Erat clicking, Andrei will fit somewhere else in the lineup, according to head coach Barry Trotz.

“[Playing the brothers together has] not even crossed my mind,” Trotz said after Monday’s skate. “I won’t even do that, I don’t think. I wouldn’t break up the top line; it’s gone too well. I told Sergei, ‘You know, don’t worry about your brother coming in and playing in your spot or anything like that.’ The first line’s going good.”

The elder Kostitsyn’s size and shot were the two elements of his game that were praised throughout the Preds’ locker room. Defenseman Hal Gill, who was acquired by Nashville from Montreal ten days ago, shared what he knew of his 6-foot Belarusian teammate.

“Andrei’s a big guy,” Gill said. “He can control a game in the corner, he can cycle, he’s got a heavy shot. They’re different players. There are a lot of different strengths for both of them.”

With all of the trade talk at Monday’s skate, one wonders how much the players are distracted from preparing for the Los Angeles Kings.

“I think it actually is a little bit of a rallying point because at 3 o’clock [ET, when the deadline passes] everybody will go, ‘Phew, it’s gone. This is our team. Let’s go,’ ” Trotz said. “And they’ll be energized. No it’s not going to be distracting."

“It was distracting this morning before [the morning skate], because everybody’s watching the ticker and doing all that. But we talked about it. That’s a good hockey team that we’re going to face. We need to get points. Our goal is not to be satisfied. Our goal is to move forward. Right now, right in front of us [in the standings] are the St. Louis Blues. So we’re going after the St. Louis Blues, and to get to them we’ve got to go through the L.A. Kings.”


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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43

 
 

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