Predators have little prep time before first preseason games

Monday, September 19, 2011 at 12:04am

Barry Trotz figures his team will be at a disadvantage in terms of experience not once, but twice Monday.

There’s nothing the Nashville Predators coach can do about it, and that includes practice.

After just two days of on-ice workouts in their 2011 training camp, the Predators will face the Florida Panthers in two preseason contests Monday in Florida. They follow that a day later with a game against the Washington Capitals in Baltimore.

Monday’s games will be at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

“Because we play the next day — and I know Florida doesn’t — we’re going to have to save some veteran players for the Washington game just because I don’t want some of the veteran players going back-to-back right out of the shoot,” Trotz said. “It’ll be a pretty young lineup … overall, but that’s OK. It will be a really good evaluation process.

“We get to look at 40 players in one day in game situations.”

That includes some situations that have not yet been addressed in training camp.

“We’re just trying to get some offensive concepts down; we’re going to try to get some basic system concepts down,” Trotz said Saturday. “… We’re adjusting on the fly a little bit to see what we can do and what we can’t do.

“We’ll let the special teams just get through those two [days] and then we’ll start working on some special teams concepts.”

Nashville won four of six preseason games in 2010 and have had a winning record in five of the last six preseasons.

Never, though, have they started with the games so quickly.

“You have to like it, you can’t complain about it,” defenseman Ryan Suter said. “Obviously, you’d like to practice just to get up to speed with drills and things like that, but I guess there’s no better way then getting in a game.”