Practice Day Report: May 1

Tuesday, 05.1.2012 / 3:02 PM CT / Nashville Predators Playoffs Coverage
By Doug Brumley  - Nashville Predators
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Practice Day Report: May 1

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

SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 58 36 18 4 160 134 76
2 DAL 55 35 15 5 178 147 75
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 53 32 18 3 146 124 67
5 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
6 ANA 53 26 19 8 120 125 60
7 COL 57 28 25 4 153 158 60
8 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
9 MIN 54 23 21 10 133 134 56
10 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
11 ARI 53 24 23 6 139 163 54
12 CGY 53 25 25 3 143 156 53
13 WPG 54 24 27 3 139 157 51
14 EDM 56 22 29 5 138 168 49

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