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 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 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33