The Nashville Predators hit the Sommet Center ice this morning in preparation for tonight’s game against the San Jose Sharks. The Preds and the Sharks went head-to-head just last Tuesday in San Jose, however the Preds hope for a different outcome here in Smashville.
Head Coach Barry Trotz feels that even with the late loss last Tuesday, there is a confidence that can be gained from that experience.
“You take a little bit of confidence, they are the best team in the West right now, and we were able to hang with them in their building. That hasn’t been a place where we have had a lot of success. Going in there and playing a game even with them gives us a little confidence and hopefully we can continue to play our game.”
The Preds are also able to draw confidence from wining their last two games including Saturday’s 2-0 home win against Montreal when the team set a club record for most shots in a game (55), shots in a period (24, in the first period), and margin of shots in a period (+20 in the first period).
Trotz was impressed by the spark on the offensive side of the puck, and believes this increased productivity will help create more scoring chances.
“Part of breaking down a team’s defense is just throwing pucks at the net because you create chaos, you create a little confusion. If everyone knows the puck is going to the net then (our) guys can head there without question. It is a little different mentality we are trying to create.”
In net for the Preds tonight night will be Pekka Rinne
. Trotz feels his goaltenders both have their confidence back and now he is able to put the net man in goal he feels is right for the match up.
“I think it is all about your confidence, once you get some games under your belt it gets easier. The whole team is playing well so that’s the thing that makes it easier for me,” Rinne stated about his personal and team’s boost in confidence.
As far as what Rinne expects to see out of the Sharks tonight, “Their size up front is going to be a big challenge. They have some star players. We just have to be ready for that. We played a really good game in San Jose now we have to come back with the same kind of effort.”
At the end of morning skate Trotz reviewed what he felt was needed to be done in order to have a successful game against the Sharks.
“Got to get off to a good start, you can’t play from behind against the Sharks. You got to make sure you keep it tight, you got to hunt down pucks and really, really take away their top guys. Their top guys make them roll. Their power play is always a difference maker, you can’t be a negative factor there. Their goaltender, you have to make it difficult on him, if you make it difficult on him you make it difficult on their defense and you make it difficult on their transition.”Injury Report: Colin Wilson
remains out with a groin injury. Coach Trotz hinted that Wilson could see time in Milwaukee before he skates with the Preds.
“We are just going to get him healthy, and then I think from that standpoint once he is healthy I’m probably going to send him down and get a conditioning stint in Milwaukee. I think even when he does get healthy he isn’t going to play for us right off the bat.”