Some news and notes from today's morning skate practice session:
- Optional on-ice work this morning with around half the team taking the ice and the other half doing off-ice work.
- Both Steve Sullivan and Cal O'Reilly participated in on-ice drills again today and skated through the full session. It's another positive step forward for both Sullivan and O'Reilly, coming off a physical practice session yesterday.
- Coach Trotz talked about the potential for the Preds to clinch a playoff spot tonight:
"Everybody knows pretty well the situation, but I'm not thinking about clinching a playoff spot. We want to finish as high as we can. We have an opportunity, if things fall correctly, to find ourselves in fourth. We just have to win games, plain and simple. You don't want to rely on somebody to help you. Right now if we take care of our own business we don't have to look at what everybody else does."
- Coach Trotz talked about the pitfalls of playing against a team that is already eliminated from the playoffs:
"A lot of guys are playing for jobs; a lot of guys are playing with no consequences. Sometimes a defenseman may stay in the zone longer because there are no consequences if they fail and all of a sudden the puck comes to the area and he scores. And you're on the bench saying 'He shouldn't be there.' Those type of things happen when you play teams in that situation. But players in this league, they're proud players -- you can't tell me Chris Mason, Andrew Ladd, those guys in that locker room aren't going to give their all. They're playing for next year, they're playing for pride. But they're playing carefree and they're just having fun playing hard right now and that's dangerous.
- Cody Franson talked about the need to finish the season strong:
It doesn't matter who we play this time of year, we have to come out with our best effort and give ourselves a chance to win these games. It doesn't matter if we're playing Atlanta or Detroit, each two points are big and that's the way we're looking at it in the locker room. We've been playing some of our best hockey of the year over these last few weeks -- and you have to be at that level by this time of the year.
- Cody Franson talked about resisting the urge to scoreboard watch:
"You watch the highlight reel in the mornings, but if you get too caught up in how everyone else is doing it becomes too stressful; you have to try to find a happy medium between worrying about things you can control at the rink and what you can't control away from the rink.