Some news and notes from today's practice session:
- Workmanlike practice session today. The Preds were efficient and fairly crisp in their drills.
- Kevin Klein
missed the on-ice session today; a body-maintenance day for the team's blocked shots leader (166, T-5th in the NHL this season). He will be in the lineup for tomorrow night's game against Colorado.
- Lines during today's practice were:
White - Legwand centering Erat and Ward
Gray - Fisher centering Hornqvist, Kostitsyn, Wilson
Yellow - Smithson centering Spaling and Tootoo
Green - Geoffrion centering Dumont and Halischuk
- Coach Trotz talked about Matt Halischuk
and how he's progressed in practice the last week:
"He's just a good pro. Haili (Matt Halischuk
) is a lot like Spaling. He absorbs what you say; understands that he has to prepare himself and work on his game. And he does. When he gets back in the lineup he's going to do a good job because he has that mindset. I don't have any worries about a guy like Halischuk. Him and Spaling, they're wired the same; they want to be better players all the time and they work at it."
- Jerred Smithson talked about the lessons from last year's playoff push and how that has helped the process this year:
"I think it's focused us on the little things. We played hard down the stretch last year and in the playoffs. We did a lot of good things and things that put us in the playoffs. It was a few little mistakes that ended up costing us (in the series against Chicago). I think we learned that it's going to take a full 60 minutes to win those types of games. We've brought that mentality into the playoff race this year."
- Smithson talked about playing on a line with Nick Spaling
and Jordin Tootoo
"They're just hard working guys; there's nothing crazy or outrageous to their games. They go out and play the game hard, they skate, they're good on the forecheck. They're a lot of fun to play with. I know what they're going to do out there on the ice and that's helped us click fairly well. We'd like to contribute a little more offensively, but that will come. We're getting our chances, now we need to bury them.
- Smithson talked about the dangers of playing a team already eliminated from the playoffs:
"A lot of times teams like that, players are playing for jobs next year or trying to do what they can to be spoilers. I've been in that situation before; you're loose and just go out play hard and have fun. It's dangerous for a team in our situation; we can't take those teams lightly. Like tomorrow night, Colorado's a good hockey club with a lot of skill. We have to come out with our A game."