Originally written on Inside Smashville  |  Last updated 1/30/12

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators looks on against the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center on November 5, 2009 in Anaheim, California. The Ducks defeated the Predators 4-0. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The Nashville Predators were the hottest team in the National Hockey League going into the all-star break with a 9-1-0 record in their last 10 games. Nashville is 12-2-0 since December 28th and Predators netminder Pekka Rinne, named the NHL’s second start of last week, was playing some of the best hockey of his career, winning 9 consecutive starts and posting an 18-2-0 record in his last 20 games before the break.

Erat says the Predators will be able to regain focus after five-day break

Rinne was excited to be back on the ice Monday afternoon at Centennial Sportsplex.

“It felt great on the ice today. I felt really sharp. I felt winded right away, but that comes from not being on the ice. Getting your legs underneath you is the biggest thing. Other than that, I felt great. It’s just getting back to doing what you do,” Rinne said about returning to the ice after a five-day break.

The Finnish netminder says the break couldn’t have come at a better time, despite Nashville’s impressive play. “Even though we were rolling pretty good, it was a good time to get that break. We played 50 games. Anytime you realize there is a break ahead of you, you let everything out, all your energy every single game. We did that. We played extremely well. Now we got our break and we recharged our batteries and got the energy levels back. I’m really excited and looking forward to getting back at it,” Rinne explained.

Nashville’s offense was also “rolling pretty good” at the time of the break. All three players on Nashville’s top line posted at least 11 points in the Predators last 14 games. Mike Fisher had 5 goals and 8 assists for 13 points, while Sergei Kostitsyn scored another 7 goals and added 4 assists for 11 points. Then there is Martin Erat who has 3 goals and 9 assists in his last 14 outings.

Erat says he is not worried about his ability to regain focus for Tuesday’s game. “For me personally, I dont think so. I’m used to the breaks. We have had the Olympic breaks and the All-Star breaks before. With experience, you know what to do when you have a couple days break or a longer term break,” Erat said, adding “For the young kids, it is going to be something different. In the season, they have never had five days break. It is going to be interesting how they make out, but I think they are going to be ready.”

One player who is not used to a five-day break is rookie Gabriel Bourque. The 21-year old says no one has an advantage over anyone else when it comes to the all-star break. “I don’t think so,” he said when asked if it would be tough to regain focus, adding “Everybody had five days off, it was the same for both teams. It is the most exciting part of the year, so everyone will be excited for the game. The guys are pretty focused and will be ready.

Head Coach Barry Trotz agrees. “The guys are excited. I think the guys had a good break, it was a well deserved break,” Trotz said, adding the team is exactly where it wanted to be entering the final stretch of the regular season. “The good thing is before the break we had a real good purpose. We understood where we wanted to get to. Once we got there, I didn’t want to see anybody for four or five days, and they didn’t want to see me. We had a goal, we set a goal and achieved it. Now we need to set other goals.”

What is the first goal set for the Predators as they start the final stretch to the playoffs? “Get two points [against Minnesota],” Trotz said.

 

 

Photo credit: AP

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Steel workers on Kings arena wrote ‘Go Warriors’ on materials

Report: Cavs could put Love on trading block within next year

Red Sox GM: 'Time to think about' team being sellers

Cardinals fire scouting director in hacking scandal fallout

Report: Lakers to get second meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Antonio Gates suspended four games for violating drug policy

Tim Duncan officially returning to Spurs for another season

Rolando McClain suspended four games for substance abuse

Jets' Richardson suspended four games for violating drug policy

Report: Aldridge not impressed with Lakers' branding pitch

Toronto column after trade details Kessel's love of hot dogs

Report: Mavericks Sign Wes Matthews to Four-Year Contract

Dwyane Wade celebrates contract with tea, painted toenails

Coach K at fan town hall: 'I have no thoughts on retiring'

Carroll doesn’t just bring skill to Toronto; he brings relevance

Carroll doesn’t just bring skill to Toronto; he brings relevance

Lakers and Knicks: Piece by piece with no shortcuts

Bubba Watson to paint over Confederate flag on General Lee

Brewery offers Aldridge free beer for life if he stays a Blazer

P. Diddy avoids felony charges in incident at UCLA

Day 1 of Greenbrier Classic nets golf fans $192,400

Mike Scioscia took down Mike Trout’s Nerf basketball hoop

What the Greg Monroe signing means for the Bucks

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Selecting the 2015 AL All-Stars

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.