The team returned to the ice at Centennial Sportsplex for a rigorous practice session today before heading into back to back preseason games this weekend. Yesterday the guys took time away from the ice for team building exercises with the troops at Ft. Campbell.
With the excitement of yesterday behind them, today was back to business. The practice session was focused on line drills and work as three-man forward groups.
Coach Trotz stated that this is a big weekend for the team with the final two preseason games on Saturday and Sunday giving the staff a chance to evaluate some of his newly formed lines. Coach Trotz will look to play top lines this weekend in order to prepare the players for regular season. Both goaltenders will also play their first full 60 minute game this weekend; Pekka Rinne
playing home on Saturday and Dan Ellis at Columbus on Sunday.
Line combinations for today’s practice were:
Jason Arnott, Steve Sullivan, J.P. DumontGray: David Legwand
, Martin Erat
, Mike SantorelliYellow:
Ryan Jones, Marcel Goc, Patric HornqvistRed:
Triston Grant, Cal O’Reilly, Jordin TootooLight Blue:
Jerred Smithson, Ben Guite, Nick Spaling
, Peter Olvecky
Coach Trotz felt the time spent off the ice at Ft. Campbell was very important in this team moving forward as one. The day was spent performing military-like training and drills. Different guys had to step up into leadership roles during the drills and tasks; this is where Trotz feels the most was gained.
“One thing you find is that it is always easy to lead when things are easy,” Trotz explained. “Leadership is most important when it is hard and there is adversity. That is the one thing that is very common, you don’t need a whole lot of leadership with things are going great. When it is a little hard that’s when you need leadership most.”
Trotz then went on to add, “When it gets hard and it’s difficult, how you act in those times can make the situation a lot better or can make it a lot worse. And that’s what we tried to find out a little bit is how guys react in those roles and those situations.”
While players may have been a little tired and sore from the pervious day’s activities they seemed to really enjoy the time at Ft. Campbell and also found it beneficial for the team as a whole.
“I think it was good. It was all about team work and helping one another out and sticking as a team, and not leaving any man behind,” Mike Santorelli explained. “I think heading into the season that was a great event to do.”
The newest member of the team, Francis Bouillon
, also attended and participated in the team-building activities. He felt this was a great opportunity after joining the team so late in camp to get to know some of the guys and feel apart of the team.
“It always takes a few weeks to feel good with a team. Yesterday was good to just be involved with the guys. A lot of group activity was great for me,” Bouillon stated today after practice.