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Practice Day Report: March 29

by Doug Brumley / Nashville Predators

The Predators had their full roster on the ice Thursday for the entirety of practice--a bit of a luxury at this time of the season when the schedule can wear on teams. After the 40-minute practice session, the team met with members of the media then quickly packed all of its gear for a 1 p.m. charter flight to Detroit. The Predators face the Red Wings 6:30 p.m. Friday in what is shaping up to be a battle for the Western Conference's fourth seed and an increasingly likely first-round preview.

The biggest news of the day was word that Roman Josi, Martin Erat and Jordin Tootoo are all ready to return to the lineup tomorrow night. "Roman will be in. Toots should be in. Marty's going to be in," head coach Barry Trotz said after practice. "We'll get some people back."

Trotz said he believes that it's perfect timing to get these three assimilated into the lineup with five games remaining in the regular season. But the team's approach is to take things one game at a time as it closes out the regular season and approaches the first round of the playoffs.

"The priority is tomorrow night," Trotz said. "Then once that game's done, the priority will be Saturday night. It's just that playoff mentality. Whatever happens tomorrow night, we let it go and we move on, and we've got to get the next game.

"Our focus is on our game more than it is maybe Detroit or Chicago right now," he said. "It's how we play. How we play will determine the outcome anyways."

While Trotz concedes there is room for improvement in parts of his team's game, the good news for Preds fans is that any necessary adjustments are minor.

"I think we can tighten up in a number of areas," he said. "The stuff that we need to tighten up, I think [it's] very fixable quickly. It's not [like] you're going to have to reinvent the wheel. You've got to--recalibrate is probably the best way to say it.”

Offensive lines at practice Thursday…
  White jerseys: Mike Fisher centering Sergei Kostitsyn and Martin Erat
  Silver jerseys: David Legwand centering Alexander Radulov and Patric Hornqvist
  Gold jerseys: Nick Spaling centering Andrei Kostitsyn and Matt Halischuk
  Green jerseys: Paul Gaustad centering Gabriel Bourque and Jordin Tootoo
  Purple jerseys: Craig Smith centering Colin Wilson and Brandon Yip
  Red jerseys: Brian McGrattan, Jack Maclellan

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

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