In the Predators’ three previous sets of back-to-back games this season, coach Barry Trotz has chosen to split the netminding duties between goalies Pekka Rinne and Chris Mason.
But Trotz said after Friday’s 1-0 loss to Vancouver that he thinks Rinne should be able to play tonight against Detroit. Rinne faced 24 shots against the Canucks, stopping 23.
“Yeah, I think (he should be available),” Trotz said. “I’ll talk to him on the plane, see how he feels and we’ll go from there.”
The only other factor Trotz might consider is that Rinne missed practice earlier this week because of illness. Trotz said this year’s condensed schedule, combined with the usual fatiguing factors, makes it easy for players to get run down.
“You’re virtually in a germ capsule all the time,” Trotz said. “You’re in a rink, you’re in a bus, you’re in a plane. You’re getting run down. All those factors (can lead to) catching the flu. I was a prime candidate the other day. I’m lighter and faster now, I know that.”
Blueliner switch: After sitting out four of the past five games as a healthy scratch, defenseman Hal Gill returned to the lineup on Friday.
The Predators sat defenseman Jonathon Blum, who’d played in the past 10 games. Blum was on the ice for a pair of Detroit goals during Nashville’s win over the Red Wings on Tuesday.
“I thought Blum has played well thus far, but his weakest games were his last two,” Trotz said. “I think Hal is tremendous in terms of handling size. It was really important to have his size, experience and penalty-killing ability, especially against Vancouver.”
Predators will start Pekka Rinne in goal
Tennessean | Feb 23