Practice Day Report: April 4

Wednesday, 04.4.2012 / 2:06 PM CT / News
By Doug Brumley  - Nashville Predators
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Practice Day Report: April 4
Pekka Rinne was back on the Bridgestone Arena ice for Predators practice Wednesday after missing Tuesday night’s 2-1 shootout win with a virus.

“Hopefully it’s over with now,” the goaltender said of the illness. “It kind of takes all the life out of you and all the energy out of you. I feel 100 percent better today and it was good to get back out there and sweat a little bit and have a good practice there.”

Goaltender Chet Pickard, who was assigned to the Predators on Tuesday to back up Anders Lindback in the game and to spell workhorse Rinne a bit in practices, pulled double duty Wednesday. The team skated in two sessions—a smaller, early session and a larger, later one—and Pickard worked in both. Lindback and Rinne participated in the later session.

“We just felt that the numbers were too great so we had our early group with some guys and a later group,” Trotz said of the decision to do split practices. “I think our numbers have been a little bit too heavy on that so I think it takes away from the pace, it takes away from some of the stuff that we want to get done. It’s not helping our game. It’s a little bit out of the norm. We always pride ourselves on being together. But this is something we need to do.”

The line of Gabriel Bourque, Nick Spaling and Patric Hornqvist practiced as a unit and was getting a lot of media attention in the locker room after practice—thanks to Bourque’s goal from Spaling last night. But head coach Barry Trotz said during his media availability that the trio may or may not stick together.

“I think that can stay as a line or you might want to separate them,” Trotz said. “You can move a guy, a Spaling or a Hornqvist to that second line. It gives us some pretty good options. Really what I need to do is lock down what potentially could be a fourth line, but that’ll be based more on probably as much opponent than it will be anything else.”

Wednesday’s lines:
Sergei KostitsynMike FisherMartin Erat
Matt HalischukDavid LegwandAndrei Kostitsyn
Gabriel BourqueNick SpalingPatric Hornqvist
Brandon YipPaul GaustadJordin Tootoo

Defense pairings:
Hal GillRoman Josi
Francis BouillonKevin Klein
Jack HillenRyan Ellis

Defensemen Shea Weber and Ryan Suter and forward Alexander Radulov had "maintenance days" off the ice, while Colin Wilson, Craig Smith, Brian McGrattan and Jack Maclellan skated in an earlier session with strength and conditioning coach David Good.

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