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Open Practice at Bridgestone and Meeting the Team


It was an open practice today at Bridgestone Arena that started at 4:00 p.m., two hours before the meet the team party for season ticket holders. During the practice, the Nashville Sports Authority along with the Nashville Predators and Comcast Spotlight showed many new fans a thing or three about how the Predators prepare for games.

Some lively commentary from a mic’d up Coach Trotz along with Pete Weber and Terry Crisp provided those in attendance insight into the what, where, and why that many newly represented fans may have wondered about the game of hockey ala a bit of a Hockey 101 class.

The forward lines on the ice were as follows:


Erat was absent as was Hornqvist (although Hornqvist was at the Meet the Team party signing autographs) so I would guess Hornqivst was taking a maintenance day. Bouillon was on the ice as was the aforementioned Mike Fisher who looks to be almost ready to go. I spoke with Bouillon while in line for an autograph and he seems highly confident he’ll be back very soon.

During the practice, the Predators worked on 5 on 4 drills, breakouts, and dump-and-chase. Smith and Wilson seem to score just as easily in practice as they have done over the last two games. Niclas Bergfors just looks lost and disinterested most of the time; similar to how Kostitsyn looked at the beginning of last year and that turned out pretty good in the end. Bergfors, with the upper body injury to Erat, might be able to crack the lineup this Thursday in the home opener.

Here are some interesting notes about meeting the team:

-All the players were extremely nice and generous with their time
-A woman in front of me asked if I spoke Belarusian so we could tell Kostitsyn to “shoot more” in his native tongue
-I lost count of how many toddler jerseys were signed in front of me
-Joked with Ryan Suter and Blake Geoffrion about a hidden agenda to only draft and promote Wisconsin Badgers (to quote Suter “they got a real good system up there”)
-The most interesting item to be signed was my friend Alan’s rough-cut timber with polished wood overlays of the Predators logo, a goaltender, and the NP in the new design…looked like a gnarled surfboard, but the craftsmanship was amazing (done by Alan himself…sticktap)
-The Pekka Rinne line stretched from here to Terra Haute (hope you get the reference)
-Tootoo is sporting a faux-hawk and Spaling’s getting in on it also.
-The coaching staff including Trotz, Horachek, and Lambert had an impromptu signing line outside Section 112

Be on the lookout for our preview and predictions for Thursday’s home opener against the Phoenix Coyotes.