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Training Camp Update: Sept 23

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators
Daily Recap - Tuesday, Sept. 23 - Training Camp Day 5

Another split day at Training Camp with the rookies playing an 11 am game at Sommet Center against the Atlanta Thrashers rookie squad and then the veterans taking the ice back at Centennial Sportsplex in the afternoon. After scrimmages the past two days, today's veteran session focused on drills.

Related Items

 • Preds Training Camp Central Mainpage
Our Team Rally Mainpage (Sept 23)

The coaches have continued to tinker with potential line combinations throughout the past few days. Three groupings have emerged as likely combinations for early in the preseason:
 - Dumont and Hornqvist have skated together in both scrimmages and most of the forward line drills, with Jason Arnott and Rich Peverley taking turns as center.
 - Legwand has centered Erat and Michael Ryan the past few days
 - Nichol has centered Pihlstrom and Tootoo the past few days, a popular pairing among the coaches and the players.

Quote Book
Head Coach Barry Trotz
On the two rookie games…
“I really liked some of the guys. I thought Jones, (Mike) Santorelli, Thuresson played a lot together and played really well. I liked Jon Blum, he was real smart. Teemu Laakso was real solid. Those guys really stepped up I thought. So they may get a look in the exhibition games.”

On his plan for the preseason games…
“The guys that I think are really fighting for a position are going to get a real good shot. And that’s on defense with guys like Sulzer, Laakso, people like that are going to get a chance to unseat any of the top-seven. And then at forward, I think a Joel Ward, a Mike Ryan, Jones, Mike Santorelli made a really good case in the rookie games, Pihlstrom, Peverley; they’re going to play a lot of games. I probably have the most comfort level with Richy (Peverley), because he’s played a lot of game for us. But of the guys who haven’t played a lot of games, they’re going to get a real good shot. I think they’re (each) going to get four to five games out of the six. That’s what it is, if you want an opportunity. Potentially you can end up playing yourself in.”

On Joel Ward…
“I didn’t know much about Joel. He plays a real solid game. He’s really strong on the wall. He protects pucks really well. Just in practice he’s working hard and being pretty efficient in his execution areas and his work ethic areas, so there’s no reason not to give him an opportunity. I liked what he did in the scrimmages. He got chances; he created turnovers. He played a heavy big man’s game. He’s one of our bigger players, especially up front and I like that, what he can contribute. He’s going to get a good look here.”

On whether he was surprised by Mike Santorelli’s play…
“Mike didn’t really surprise me, he just made a real good case in the two rookie games. I like Mike’s ability to do stuff and be creative in small spaces. I saw that in his game last year and I saw him in Milwaukee a little bit. You like to see that. And he showed it again in the rookie games, so he’s going to get his opportunities.”

On the feistiness shown by Ryan Jones, Mike Santorelli, and Kelsey Wilson in today’s rookie game…
“You have to hold your own space. It’s a tough game. If you’re more of a skilled guy – like Mike’s more of a skilled guy – if the game is not played that way, can you be effective in that game? He’s showed flashes that he can be effective in a hard physical game, especially when they started targeting he and Jones. And he responded by not backing down and still being effective on the ice. And that’s what you want from guys. Sometimes guys can’t translate their game. They only want to play a certain game and if the game doesn’t play out that way, they’re not effective. To me what a good pro is, is if the game is played different ways, can you still be effective and produce. I see that a little bit more with Mike Santorelli from last year, even. If it gets into a grind game, he can still be pretty effective. It shows me he’s a real good learner and he’s finding ways as a pro, adjusting from the college to pro level, he’s adjusting his game so that he has an opportunity to play at every style that is played in the NHL as well as the AHL. That’s good because a lot of kids don’t “get” that; they want to play the way they did in Junior and if it doesn’t translate to the pro level, they have no success as pros.

On the rookie game formats…
“It was really good. I didn’t know how many people would come out. We’ve always had a good turn out for the Meet the Team party and a expected that to be pretty good. But I was pleasantly surprised at how many people turned out today. It was fun. It was actually a real good format to have the rookie games; we got to see them and separate them. And because some of them played two pretty good games, they’re going to get a chance to get into some NHL preseason games.”

Forward Michael Ryan
On skating with Martin Erat and David Legwand in practice…
“It’s been pretty good. I think all three of us bring an element of speed. Those two guys are pretty skilled with the puck, so I’ve just been trying to get in hard on the forecheck and get those guys the puck. If I can do that, I’m sure good things will happen. The last few days I’ve been skating with those guys. Hopefully that will be a line on Thursday (in the preseason game against Atlanta). But that’s a coach’s decision, so we’ll have to wait and see.”

Forward Antti Pihlstrom
On the first few days of Training Camp…
“It’s been pretty tough; hard skating sessions. But it’s good; good to get into that sort shape.”

On the differences from last year…
“It’s a little bit easier because now I know what is expected, how much we skate here in camp. It’s different training back home, last year I wasn’t used to that much skating in camp.”

On playing on a line with Nichol and Tootoo…
“It’s pretty nice. We have some fast skaters on our line. Both Tootoo and Nichol can skate fast and forecheck hard, so it’s pretty nice to play with those guys. I feel pretty good with them. I think I can keep up there.”

On how much he learned from playing in Milwaukee last season…
“I learned a lot. I learned new systems. I learned how to play in the small rink. And I learned to shoot from everywhere. Stuff like that was probably the most that I learned.”

On playing in the World Championships this past spring…
“It’s was nice. We had a pretty good team there with Selanne, Koivu. They used to be my idols, so it was nice to play with those guys. It helped to prepare me for the NHL, too, playing against NHL guys on the small rink (NHL sized, as opposed to Olympic sized). Those guys helped to teach me some little things.”

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