Some news and notes from today's practice session:
- For the second day in a row the 21-man roster participated in on-ice activities.
- Line combinations from today's practice:
White - Fisher centering Hornqvist and Kostitsyn
Gray - Legwand centering Erat and Weber
Yellow - Smithson centering Spaling and Tootoo
Green - Dumont, Geoffrion, Halischuk, Wilson
- Quick pace to practice again today, with a lot of three-on-two and two-on-one drills.
- Fisher and Kostitsyn stood out during today's drills. They both looked fast out on the ice and looked sharp in their execution of the drills.
- After practice Blake Geoffrion was presented with hats collected by fans at last night's game to commemorate his road game hat trick on Sunday at Buffalo.
- Coach Trotz when commenting on the standings:
"You look at how close games have been this year and it's fitting that your in to the 70s in games played and you're still looking at each other in the standings and there isn't much difference. It's parity and there are a lot of good teams in the league. We have two more of them coming in to the building this week.
- Coach Trotz talked about the team's energy level coming out of the grueling four-game-in-six-day stretch:
"I think Sunday we were a little low. Monday was a needed day off. It actually helped that we were in Buffalo, in the Eastern Time Zone and had a normal sleep cycle on Sunday. And then a day off, so it helped a little bit. It was good last night and (our energy) looked good at practice today."
- Cal O'Reilly started skating today for the first time since his injury. It sounds like a minor news item, but as the Preds gear up for a long playoff run, his potential return would give the Preds coaches an extra option for match-up opportunities. O'Reilly, a natural center, also plays a position where the Preds depth has been stretched the most thin (he, Marcel Goc, and Matt Lombardi have all missed large stretches of time). Prior to his injury, O'Reilly had scored 18 points in 38 games and through most of December was skating with the second power-play unit.
- Congrats are in order for David Poile and Paul Fenton, both named to Team USA's Management Team for the 2011 World Championships
. Poile has been a regular in USA Hockey's Men's National Team Advisory Group -- including playing a leading role in last year's Olympic squad. For Fenton, this represents the second time in as many years that he's been tabbed for a Team USA management role. He served as an Assistant Coach for USA's entry into the Deutchland Cup last year. As a player, Fenton played for Team USA at the 1985 and 1989 World Championships.
"Certainly it will be fun to try and build a team with all of the people we have on this committee," Fenton said. "It's interesting to talk to the different people on this committee about style of play that you're looking for on a World Championship team vs. on a NHL team. So it's going to be a challenge. It's fun because they're all accomplished General Managers and have great insight in the game."