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

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 26 37 15 63
M. Ribeiro 82 15 47 11 62
R. Josi 81 15 40 15 55
S. Weber 78 15 30 15 45
C. Smith 82 23 21 11 44
C. Wilson 77 20 22 19 42
M. Fisher 59 19 20 4 39
J. Neal 67 23 14 12 37
R. Ellis 58 9 18 8 27
S. Jones 82 8 19 3 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 41 17 6 .923 2.18
C. Hutton 6 7 4 .902 2.61