Practice Update: Hurt or injured…?
It’s the time of the season when the coaching staff is feeling out all players to determine how to manage their health down the stretch. Almost every player has some sort of nicks, bruises, or much worse & with the Preds looking to make a deep playoff run, it will be more important than ever.
Had a chance to catch some of Predators practice at Centennial Sportsplex yesterday & here are some notes. Coach Barry Trotz made it an optional skate & several players chose to stay off the ice for continued rest & recuperation. For the players on the ice, it was more of a light workout with time dedicated to some individual skill drills including the shoot out. This was the first time C Paul Gaustad was able to get on the ice with his new team mates. He skated hard, and will be ready to make his Preds debut on Saturday at Florida (Smithson 2.0 Vs Smithson in the dot will be interesting). D Kevin Klein does not appear ready to come back as he was only able to get on the ice for a short time. According to Josh Cooper of The Tennessean who spoke with Trotz after practice, Klein did in fact have a setback in the recovery process from an upper body injury & will miss the next game. Ryan Ellis was recalled a couple days ago after the trade deadline roster limit was lifted & will be ready to go in the spot of Klein.
Friday should see a return to full & hard practice by all uninjured players, after two days off for some. The Preds will then travel to Miami and face a Panthers team that lost 7-0 last night to Winnipeg (that should make things easier).