Practice Day Report: April 25

Wednesday, 04.25.2012 / 4:34 PM CT / Nashville Predators Playoffs Coverage
By Doug Brumley  - Nashville Predators
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Practice Day Report: April 25

The Predators got down to business on Wednesday, practicing for a full hour over the two rinks at Centennial Sportsplex. It was the first practice for the team since their Round 2 playoff opponent was determined Monday night. Nashville will open the Western Conference Semifinal series Friday in Phoenix against the Coyotes.

The tone of Wednesday’s practice was distinctly different from the tone of the practices on Sunday and Monday. After the team’s day off on Tuesday, the upbeat and playful vibe was replaced with a more serious, business-like attitude, with lots of breaks for instructions from the coaching staff.

Center Nick Spaling said he has liked the rhythm of the practice days and off days as the Preds have waited for other series to wrap up. “It’s been good,” he said. “We’ve still been working on some overall team things over the past couple of days that we needed to just tighten up. It’s helped having those days and being able to practice and stay sharp.”

Paul Gaustad added: “I think with us, [we’re] just trying to physically get healthy, mentally take a little bit of a break—but not too far of a step back—and now just trying to get right back at it.”

Pekka Rinne was a popular man in the locker room after practice, given the Wednesday morning announcement that he is one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy for the league’s top goaltender. He was runner-up for the award last season.

“It’s great,” Rinne said. ”I was positively surprised. I can’t believe it. It’s the second time and I never would have believed it when I was growing up. I feel very fortunate and at the same time I realize that I play behind a really good team.”

“He was the only one surprised, if he said that,” head coach Barry Trotz said afterward, “because to me he’s an MVP candidate as well as a Vezina candidate. That just shows you how humble and unassuming that Peks is. Good for him. I’m thrilled for him, and well deserved.”

Practice lines on Wednesday:
   White jerseys: Mike Fisher centering Sergei Kostitsyn and Martin Erat
   White jerseys: Nick Spaling centering Andrei Kostitsyn and Patric Hornqvist
   Silver jerseys: David Legwand centering Alexander Radulov and Gabriel Bourque
   Silver jerseys: Paul Gaustad centering Brandon Yip and Craig Smith
   Gold jerseys: Colin Wilson centering Matt Halischuk and Jordin Tootoo

Defensive pairings:
   Ryan Suter and Shea Weber
   Roman Josi and Kevin Klein
   Hal Gill and Francis Bouillon
   Jack Hillen and Ryan Ellis

The Predators also spent a portion of the session practicing the power play. “Last series it seemed early on in the series we lost a lot of momentum on the power play and we can’t afford to do that,” Ryan Suter said.

Power play unit: Fisher, Radulov, Erat, Suter and Weber
Power play unit: Legwand, A. Kostitsyn, Hornqvist, S. Kostitsyn and Josi

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

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HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

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 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Wilson 14 5 8 8 13
R. Josi 14 1 8 -6 9
R. Johansen 14 4 4 0 8
J. Neal 14 4 4 1 8
M. Fisher 14 5 2 -1 7
M. Ekholm 14 3 4 2 7
S. Weber 14 3 4 -7 7
R. Ellis 14 0 6 0 6
F. Forsberg 14 2 2 -11 4
M. Salomaki 14 1 1 2 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 7 7 0 .906 2.63
C. Hutton 0 0 0 .667 3.00