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Morning Skate Report: Feb. 27 vs. Los Angeles

Monday, 02.27.2012 / 1:21 PM CT / Features
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Morning Skate Report: Feb. 27 vs. Los Angeles

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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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