Practice Day Report: May 1

Tuesday, 05.01.2012 / 4:02 PM / Nashville Predators Playoffs Coverage
By Doug Brumley  - Nashville Predators

News broke during Tuesday’s practice that Predators forwards Alexander Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn would miss Game 3 of Nashville’s Western Conference Semifinal series due to an undisclosed violation of team rules.

“I met with both of them this morning,” general manager David Poile said at a media availability during practice. “They know that they are not playing the game. This has been no more than a big distraction for our hockey team. I wanted to make the announcement today just to get this distraction out of the way so our players could get better prepared for Game 3 tomorrow night.”

Both Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn did practice with the team Tuesday. While players expressed disappointment that their teammates violated team rules and will miss a critical playoff game, they chose to focus on the bigger task at hand in their series against Phoenix. Nashville trails the best-of-seven series two games to zero.

“We’re all going to have to step up,” Mike Fisher said after practice. “This could be a good turning point for us. We’ve always been about team and team first all year long, and that’s how we win. That’s what we’ve got to get back to.”

“Maybe they broke the rules but it’s everyone in here’s play that’s cost us two games,” team captain Shea Weber said. “That’s the big thing. Our performance on the ice hasn’t been what it should be.”

The absence of the two forwards obviously means two other players are going to see game action Wednesday. This is where the Predators’ depth comes into play. Head coach Barry Trotz told the media that he’d made up his mind on the two replacements but wouldn’t specifically say who.

“Obviously in terms of guys that are available that didn’t play, Matt Halischuk and Jordin Tootoo are two guys that didn’t play last game, and Craig Smith,” Trotz said. “At least two of those three guys will for sure play.”

That comment from Trotz came after he grew weary of a number of media questions focusing on the player rules violations.

“I’m done with it right now and I think the guys in [the locker room] are done with it,” the coach said. “We’ve got to look forward to Game 3. We’ve put ourselves in a hole. Number one is we’ve got to get ourselves out of the hole.

“This team has got lots of character. It’s got lots of ambition and determination and I expect us to have our best game of the year tomorrow night.”

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

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


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43

 
 

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