Practice Day Report: April 26

Thursday, 04.26.2012 / 7:27 PM CT / Nashville Predators Playoffs Coverage
By Doug Brumley  - Nashville Predators
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Practice Day Report: April 26

The Nashville Predators coaching staff kept the team’s practice session short on Thursday—a sign that the team was eager to pack up and head to Phoenix for Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Friday. Before departing via a 2 p.m. charter for Arizona, the Predators spent 20 minutes on each sheet of ice at Centennial Sportsplex and many players were off the ice in under an hour.

For the second day in a row, head coach Barry Trotz stated he’s pleased that his team is traveling to begin Round 2.

“I’m really happy that we’re starting on the road,” he said after Thursday’s practice. “I think it’s needed for our team. We’ve been at home for probably 10 days now in total and it’s time to get on the road. I think it will be a good way to get back in the swing of things by going into the other team’s den right off the bat.”

Forward lines during practice were the same as they’d been in the previous two practices, leading one to believe Trotz has settled on his lineup. The power play units remained the same from Wednesday as well. Defenseman Hal Gill has been paired with Francis Bouillon for two practices, possibly indicating that the 6-foot-7 penalty-killing specialist who missed the first round with a lower-body injury could return to the lineup for Game 1 Friday. For his part, Trotz was a bit cryptic with his response when asked if fans can expect to see Gill back in the lineup against the Coyotes: “You can expect to see Hal in this series and probably Game 1, yeah.”

Gill, a playoff veteran with a Stanley Cup on his résumé, is eager to make his 2012 playoff debut. “I’d like to,” he said Thursday. “I haven’t talked to the coaches to make a final decision but hopefully they want me back in.”

For the third day in a row, a member of the Predators organization was announced as a finalist for a league honor. Tuesday it was David Poile for GM of the Year. Wednesday it was Pekka Rinne for the league’s top goaltender. And on Thursday Shea Weber was the man of the hour as he was tapped as one of the three finalists for the league’s Norris Trophy for the top defenseman.

“To me it was obvious,” Trotz said. “I know there’s lot of talk of different types of defenseman but with Shea, Shea had a strong season from start to finish. The only thing I was worried about Shea maybe not getting nominated was that [defense partner Ryan Suter] would take a lot of votes from him, because they’ve both been really exceptional. It’s great to have three guys nominated.”

Practice lines on Thursday:
   White jerseys: Mike Fisher centering Sergei Kostitsyn and Martin Erat 
   White jerseys: David Legwand centering Alexander Radulov and Gabriel Bourque 
   Silver jerseys: Nick Spaling centering Andrei Kostitsyn and Patric Hornqvist 
   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

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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STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 56 36 16 4 158 128 76
2 DAL 53 33 15 5 170 142 71
3 STL 55 30 17 8 132 129 68
4 LAK 51 31 17 3 135 117 65
5 SJS 51 27 20 4 147 138 58
6 NSH 53 25 20 8 136 139 58
7 COL 55 27 24 4 148 152 58
8 ANA 50 25 18 7 111 115 57
9 MIN 52 23 20 9 127 126 55
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 52 20 20 12 120 142 52
12 CGY 51 23 25 3 134 148 49
13 WPG 52 23 26 3 136 150 49
14 EDM 53 21 27 5 131 156 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 53 10 27 -2 37
S. Weber 53 14 21 -4 35
F. Forsberg 53 15 18 -6 33
M. Ribeiro 53 6 27 3 33
J. Neal 53 19 13 18 32
M. Ekholm 53 6 16 3 22
R. Ellis 52 6 15 2 21
C. Smith 53 11 6 -1 17
C. Jarnkrok 52 9 7 0 16
C. Wilson 36 4 12 0 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 17 7 .904 2.50
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36