Practice Day Report: April 14

Saturday, 04.14.2012 / 4:20 PM CT / Nashville Predators Playoffs Coverage
By Doug Brumley  - Nashville Predators
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Practice Day Report: April 14

The Nashville Predators ran through a quick practice Saturday morning before packing their things and heading to Detroit on an afternoon charter flight. Once again, Predators defenseman Hal Gill did not practice with the team. He has missed both playoff games with a lower body injury and told gathered media what it has been like watching from the sidelines.

“Hard,” he said, noticeably disappointed and choosing his words slowly. “It’s a lot easier when we’re winning. But it’s hard to watch. It’s hard to sit back and watch. I—you know, it’s tough.”

Asked if he might be able to return to the lineup for Game 3, 11 a.m. CT Sunday at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena, he responded, “I hope so.”

Gill was the only defenseman who didn’t participate in practice. Among the forwards, Mike Fisher, Martin Erat, Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn, and Alexander Radulov didn’t take the ice. Fisher spoke with the media after the session and said he was pleased with the chances that his first line—rounded out by Erat and Sergei Kostitsyn—generated in Game 2’s 3-2 loss. He said they just have to start converting those chances to goals.

The same goes for Nashville’s power play, which ranked first overall in conversion rate during the regular season but is 0-for-12 through two games in this series.

“We have to have finish right now,” Trotz said. “[The Red Wings] are doing a really good job on the penalty kill, but at the same time we did a really good job of breaking down their penalty kill [in Game 2]. We had A-plus chances. We’ve just got to put it in the net. We made slight adjustments. They made slight adjustments. That will continue.”

Defenseman Ryan Suter, a member of the first power play unit, was buoyed by his team’s overall performance Friday night, despite the loss. “You have to continue to improve, I think, throughout the playoffs,” he said. “For us, we’ve improved from Game 1 to Game 2. Now we have to keep improving.”

Trotz said that he is comtemplating “one or two” lineup changes as the best-of-seven series shifts to Detroit tied at 1-1. The Predators have never won a playoff game in Joe Louis Arena, but there was little concern about venturing into a hostile rink—one that will likely focus much attention on team captain Shea Weber after his Game 1 run-in with Henrik Zetterberg and his Game 2 fight with Todd Bertuzzi.

Trotz said Weber is well equipped to deal with any sour reception he might encounter during the road games. “When you’re a great player, which Shea is—I remember Hall of Famers like [Chris] Chelios coming in here [to Nashville] and he wasn’t exactly loved here. But at the same time you loved him for the fact that the other team does get bothered by you or your presence or you playing or whatever. So that’s the thing. You can use that to your advantage all the time. I’m sure he’ll be motivated by anything that happens.”

Friday’s practice lines (shuffled somewhat since not all players participated):
   White jerseys: David Legwand centering Jack Maclellan and Brian McGrattan
   Gold jerseys: Nick Spaling centering Gabriel Bourque and Patric Hornqvist
   Green jerseys: Paul Gaustad centering Brandon Yip and Matt Halischuk
   Purple jerseys: Craig Smith centering Colin Wilson and Jordin Tootoo

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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