The Nashville Predators hit the ice at Centennial Sportsplex for one final practice prior to their first road trip of the season on Thursday. The Preds flew out of Nashville this afternoon and headed to Winnipeg where they’ll play the Jets on Friday night from the MTS Centre. They’ll then skate against Chicago on Saturday evening.
“I think everybody is excited to get on the road,” Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “It’s great to get on a little bit of a road trip and get the guys out there and get our game going. I think we’re looking forward to it.”
“It’s good to get [a road trip] right away early in the season and get used to playing back-to-back situations,” goaltender Pekka Rinne said. “Just to recover from that and allowing your body to get used to it; at the same time, they’re two division games so it’s going to be huge for us.”
Nashville collected five of a possible six points within the friendly confines of Bridgestone Arena to kick off the 2014-15 campaign, defeating Ottawa and Dallas, then falling in a shootout to Calgary.
Today’s practice lines were as follows:
Forsberg – Ribeiro – Neal
Stalberg – Roy – Smith
Wilson – Jarnkrok – Jokinen
Bourque – Gaustad – Nystrom
Clune – Cullen – Beck
Josi – Weber
Volchenkov – Jones
Ekholm – Ellis
Forward Derek Roy returned to practice after leaving yesterday’s session early for precautionary measures. Forwards Viktor Stalberg and Matt Cullen also participated in the full session, with their status remaining day-to-day.
James Neal on his performance through three games thus far:
“Last game [against Calgary] definitely could’ve been better, and I felt good in the first two. I’ll get back to work here, and I’ve just got to keep shooting pucks. I felt like I had some good looks in the first two games and if I keep doing what I’m doing, they’ll come. You just have to stay even keel, you can’t get too high or too low. It’s a long season, you stay in the game and your bounces will come as long as you keep working for them.
Pekka Rinne on studying different players’ shooting tendencies before a game:
“I try to study guys a little bit. Obviously playing against a lot of the guys in the past, that helps you memorize what you’re going to face. At the same time, I try not to study too much. At the end of the day, every situation is going to be different. I try to study for some tendencies or similarities, consistencies out of some players, but other than that I just try to read and react and play the game.”
Peter Laviolette on the team using Wednesday’s loss against Calgary as motivation:
“Everybody’s got a little pit in their stomach. Nobody likes leaving the rink after a loss and I don’t think anybody really likes the way we played that game, but we are over it… It really is in the rearview mirror, but it’s okay to linger onto that distaste for losing and not playing the way you want. It’s okay to hang onto that if it’s channeled the right way. It’ll be good to get back out and play another game.”
Shot of the Day: