Some news and notes from today's practice session:
- Lines from today's practice:
Gray - Fisher centering Hornqvist and Kostitsyn
Yellow - Smithscon centering Halischuk and Tootoo
Lt. Blue - O'Reilly centering Dumont and Sullivan
White - Geoffrion, Legwand, Spaling, Ward
- Colin Wilson
missed practice today to attend his grandfather's funeral. Wilson is expected to return in time for Friday's morning skate session (in advance of Friday's game against Columbus).
- Martin Erat
missed practice for a body maintenance day.
- Practice featured a lot of skating: 2-on-1 drills early in the session, full line drills late in the session. Most players stayed late for shooting drills.
- Coach Trotz spent an extended time on the ice after practice working with injured players Cal O'Reilly and Steve Sullivan. O'Reilly and Sullivan have both skated with the team all week and continue to progress toward potential returns to the lineup.
- Coach Trotz talked about the balanced play from his team of late:
"Last night that line was really good, the Smithson and Tootoo and Halischuk line. We need production from everybody. Toots is feeling good and Halischuk is feeling good about his game and they're producing. That's a real positive for us. Last night we had two lines that did the scoring for us and the other two didn't; the night before the other two lines did the scoring, so we're getting everybody contributing."
Coach Trotz commended Pekka Rinne
for his play last night, especially in the first period, noting the importance of his strong start to the game:
"In the first period they came out with a really good push. They're still a really good team with some dynamic players. They did a good job and we had trouble getting our feet on the ground. Pekka kept us there until we stabilized. We scored and then we got the two quick ones at the end of the period and that sent them in the wrong direction, but without that start by Pekka we're not in that position. You talk about momentum, he gave us the chance to get it going our way."
- Jordin Tootoo
talked about his second goal last night:
"Hali (Matt Halischuk
) and Smitty (Jerred Smithson) have been playing great for us. When you go hard to the net, good things happen. Halio was muckng the puck in the corner there and I went to the front of the net. Fortunately I got a good bounce and that was it."
- Kevin Klein
talked about the difference between last night's games and some of the team's recent games:
"I think those tight games keep us sharp. You could tell in the third period last night that both teams had a let up in intensity and sometimes that's not best for executing plays. I think we maybe got a little sloppy (in the third period last night)."
-Coach Trotz commented on winning by a larger margin last night:
"It was good to have one of those games, but at the same time as coaches we want to be perfectionists and I thought we got sloppy and they got a couple of goals. Some of the goals were plays where the pucks were in people's feet and we weren't really battling as hard as we needed. I talked to the group after the game; we didn't make it easy. We didn't forecheck as hard and then we back off and end up playing in our own end and that's harder to play in your own end. So instead of making it easy on yourself you end up making it tougher. When you're up 6-1 sometimes it's tougher to keep that sharpness, human nature."
- Jordin Tootoo
talked about what the team wants to accomplish in these final two games of the season:
"We've been playing playoff hockey for the last month battling for a spot. We want to finish as high as we can in the standings and go into the playoffs with the right mindset. We have a chance to finish off the season with two big wins here. I think we have to tighten up our third period antics here and we'll be fine. That sort of stuff will cost us in the playoffs, but we need to focus on that and clean it up."