The Nashville Predators got in one last practice on Friday prior to their preseason finale Saturday in Columbus, marking an unofficial end to Training Camp 2014.
“We’ve all been working hard for the last couple weeks and our focus is having a good game [Saturday] and finishing off the preseason the right way,” Preds forward Olli Jokinen said. “It’s been a good camp with high intensity and a lot of hard practices.”
Those strenuous sessions were to be expected with Head Coach Peter Laviolette running his first camp in Nashville. Laviolette’s clubs are always well-conditioned, and this Predators squad doesn’t figure to be any different, seen doing some form of conditioning drills on a daily basis over the last two-plus weeks.
That stamina is a necessity in the game today, and the final preseason contest against the Blue Jackets will not only provide a gauge of endurance, but also a chance to continue tweaking systems that have been implemented throughout the group.
“You want to see where you are as a team and how the systems fit into place,” Preds forward Mike Ribeiro said. “[The last preseason game] still doesn’t count, but you want yourself and the team to be in a good place and really work hard to try to get that win.”
Friday’s practice finished up with a spirited shootout with the squad split into blue and gold teams, with the gold participants emerging victorious.
Friday’s line combinations played out like this:
*Jarnkrok, Fiala, Beck and Wilson all rotated at times throughout the practice.
Ellis, Ekholm, Alm, Piskula and Bartley all rotated with one another.
Ribeiro on his personal comfort level with the regular season approaching:
“I’m feeling good. Obviously our last game [against Columbus] wasn’t the best that we have, but we have a chance to go there and have a good last game. We had a hard week this week but I’m getting comfortable with everyone. When you come to the rink, you need to have fun and I think that’s what I’m having right now.”
Jokinen on his shootout moves:
“I personally never try to do the move in practice that I would do in the game. I’m a little bit old school; I always think there’s always somebody watching, so it’s sometimes better to keep your moves up your sleeve.”
Shot of the Day: