Practice Day Report: April 19

Thursday, 04.19.2012 / 3:15 PM CT / Nashville Predators Playoffs Coverage
By Doug Brumley  - Nashville Predators
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Practice Day Report: April 19

The Nashville Predators returned to the rink Thursday after a day off, splitting a practice session between the two rinks at Centennial Sportsplex. In a positive sign, defenseman Hal Gill—who has yet to play a game in the playoffs due to a lower body injury—participated for the entire session.

Neither Predators head coach Barry Trotz nor Gill were ready to commit to a Game 5 return for the 6-foot-7 blueliner, however.

“He skated the whole practice and he felt pretty good,” Trotz said. “We will see where he is tomorrow. That’s really his call.”

Given the Predators’ three games to one lead in their best-of-seven series against the Detroit Red Wings, much of the media conversation centered on the difficulty of tomorrow night’s task—trying to eliminate a veteran Red Wings team. Trotz said he has been trying to impress upon his players just how challenging it can be to win that fourth game in a series. Especially against Detroit.

“We recognize Detroit has a lot of experience,” Trotz said. “They were down 3-0 last year to San Jose and they took it to Game 7. We just know that tomorrow is the biggest game of the year.”

Lines in practice on Thursday looked like this:
   White jerseys: Mike Fisher centering Sergei Kostitsyn and Martin Erat
   Gold jerseys: David Legwand centering Gabriel Bourque and Alexander Radulov
   Silver jerseys: Nick Spaling centering Andrei Kostitsyn and Patric Hornqvist
   Green jerseys: Paul Gaustad centering Brandon Yip and Craig Smith
   Light blue jerseys: Colin Wilson centering Matt Halischuk and Jordin Tootoo

Trotz offered some insight into the mixing-and-matching of forwards that he’s been orchestrating lately.

“As I was telling the guys today, I said, ‘What we go out there with for lines, that doesn’t really mean a whole heck of a lot.’ ” Trotz said. “You saw last game, the lines kept changing by the minute. … It’s based on how you’re going and maybe situational. Maybe you need a little bit of a push offensively and might switch lines around. [I] also try to keep [Detroit head coach] Mike [Babcock] off in terms of his straight matchups. It also allows me to keep certain [opposing] players on the ice a little bit more too. As the series goes on, that wears them down a little bit too.”

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 57 36 17 4 158 130 76
2 DAL 54 34 15 5 174 145 73
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 52 32 17 3 144 119 67
5 SJS 52 28 20 4 149 138 60
6 ANA 52 26 19 7 117 122 59
7 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
8 COL 56 27 25 4 149 155 58
9 MIN 53 23 20 10 130 130 56
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 53 21 20 12 123 143 54
12 CGY 52 24 25 3 138 151 51
13 WPG 53 24 26 3 137 151 51
14 EDM 55 21 29 5 133 166 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 54 11 27 -3 38
F. Forsberg 54 17 18 -7 35
S. Weber 54 14 21 -5 35
M. Ribeiro 54 6 27 2 33
J. Neal 54 19 13 18 32
M. Ekholm 54 6 18 3 24
R. Ellis 53 6 16 2 22
C. Smith 54 11 7 -2 18
C. Jarnkrok 53 9 8 0 17
C. Wilson 37 4 12 -1 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 18 7 .903 2.54
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36