After returning from Tampa Bay last night, the Nashville Predators were back on the ice for another day of training camp.
The team continued its split into two groups with group one comprised primarily of prospects and Milwaukee Admirals and the second being made up of players competing for the Predators opening night roster.
Johan Alm and Joe Piskula joined the first group after skating with the second session the past few days, while Brian Lee and Anthony Bitetto moved to the afternoon batch.
A rough look at the lines in the sessions were as follows:
Viktor Stalberg suffered a lower-body injury during a drill at camp on Monday and will be out for 2-4 weeks, retroactive back to Monday.
Brendan Leipsic, who has not skated in training camp, is following concussion protocol and has begun riding the bike.
Jonathan-Ismael Diaby left after a fight during Tuesday’s 4-2 loss to the Lightning and is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. The defenseman will not play in the Predators preseason games on Thursday or Saturday.
Matt Cullen is also day-to-day with an upper-body injury after skating in the contest against Tampa Bay.
The pace remained quick and intense despite last night’s first preseason contest. Nashville worked extensively on defensive zone breakouts - most of which were run with five skaters and no defense. The coaching staff also mixed sharpening technical skills with offense. Five players lined up for a faceoff against no opposition, after the center “won” the draw the skaters would then take a shot on goal.
The two groups ran through the same set of drills in both sessions with Admirals Head Coach Dean Evason running the first session and Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette managing the second batch.
Quickly becoming a training camp staple, the groups then “wound down” by playing their now very familiar game. Players skated three-on-one, three-on-two and finally three-on-three while the group starting with three players tried to score each time. A goal by the offense led to a point for that group. A clearance or steal, however, and a point for the defending side was awarded. The immediate loser after each round did push-ups and ultimately the group in last skated more wind sprints at the very end of practice.
Carter Hutton on Tuesday’s game:
“I felt good. I thought I made a lot of high-quality saves. It was a little scrambled a bit sometimes in our own end, but that’s going to happen when you have a mix of guys, a lot of young guys that are nervous, but felt like I didn’t really miss a beat from last year.”
Hutton on teasing from the forwards:
“Me, Ben [Vanderklok] and [Pekka Rinne] were talking about how every forward should have to put the goalie gear on and go in net for a practice and we’ll see how easy they think it is. [Laughs.] It’s one of those things where it’s all good fun, good camaraderie, all the guys giving each other a hard time, making the hard work easy, having a good time and enjoying it.”
Laviolette on Tampa Bay game:
“The first period I thought went back and forth a little bit; it was a decent period. I liked the way we played in the second period, defensively we were pretty tight, we only gave up just a chance or two and we generated a little bit of offense and some shots on net and we were able to get a lead there. I guess anytime you have a lead going into the third period you’re a little bit disappointed about not closing out the deal, whether it’s exhibition games or regular season. That’s a chance to win a hockey game, so we missed on that account. They pressed us pretty good at the start of the third period with their forecheck and we turned the puck over a little bit too much. So I think a couple of drills that we used on the ice today [will help], plus we’ll show a little bit of video tomorrow to try and clear up some things. Overall, there were some good things out there from our team and our young players too.”
Shot of the Day:
Photo credit: John Russell