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Thoughts From Practice: March 11

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators
  Thoughts from Thursday's Practice

  The Week Ahead: March 7
Some news and notes from today's practice:

- Off-ice workouts today; goaltender Anders Lindback and Coach Mitch Korn were the lone on-ice participants.

- Coach Trotz stressed the mental benefits as much as the physical benefits of today's off-ice day: "This whole month is really tough. We have a big game tomorrow night and then four next week. It's really demanding on everybody mentally, so I wanted to give everyone a mental break."

- The various injuries have afforded some players an opportunity to expand their roles with the team. One player Coach Trotz noted was Nick Spaling for taking on much of "the Marcel Goc role" after Goc's injury. "Nick is an intelligent player, not known at this level for his offense, but he can play with a lot of different players. He can play in a pure checking role. He can play in a more complementary role with some more offensively gifted players. He has filled some of that void after Goc went out."

- Coach Trotz noted Jordin Tootoo's play of late, crediting his hit early in the first period on Greg Zanon as a key to last night's game -- setting the tone early -- but also thought Tootoo was outstanding last Thursday in the game at Vancouver.

- Coach Trotz on Ryan Suter's hold-in leading to the Preds first goal last night: "That was huge. That's eye-hand coordination. Those are the little subtle plays that people don't think much of -- knocking the puck down, getting it to the right people, getting it back to the net -- but those plays lead to goals. The great players have those good sticks. Nick Lidstrom has the best stick ever; you never get a puck by him -- in the air or on the ice. As long as he has a stick in his hand he's going to get it. Pronger is like that. And Sutes has that ability. Those are the plays that catch people off guard and end up in the net for you."

- Sticking with defensemen, Coach Trotz was complimentary of the play Shea Weber made to set up Nashville's final goal last night: "He showed really good poise there. Sometimes you try to force things, sometime you try to get too cute, but Shea showed what he's capable of."

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