John Glennon's blog post today mentions the fact that Martin Erat missed practice, and his status for Saturday is up in the air. Glennon then writes:
"Predators coach Barry Trotz said there’s still a good chance Erat will play against the Wings, but added that the team is considering recalling a forward from Milwaukee – probably either Patric Hornqvist or Cal O’Reilly"
I can't tell from the writing whether that last bit of info actually came from Trotz' mouth - or if it's Glennon's own supposition.
Erat fell at the blue line in the 3rd and had trouble getting up and getting back to the bench. It looked upper body (back? shoulder?) rather than lower body. He stayed on the bench rather than going back but forget whether he was out after that. Any word on injury?
Groin strain is the injury and completely believable and accurate. Erat fell awkwardly and then was on his hands and knees trying to get up, he struggled to get up because he couldn't straighten out his leg. When he finally got up he was striding minimally and only with one leg. On the bench he was rubbing his leg and repeatedly stood up gingerly to stretch out and test his leg.
There is no doubt it is a leg injury.
With that being said...if we recall O'Reilly, then expect Legwand to play on the wing of the Ward - O'Reilly - Legwand line or have O'Reilly center the third line with Fiddler in Erat's place on the wing. If we decide to make a minimal adjustment to the lineup, then you will see Hornqvist recalled and put in Erat's position.
I prefer and believe Hornqvist will be recalled if necessary.
Would rather see Spaling or Santorelli again, but okay. May as well see what we've got with him.
Santorelli hasn't been doing himself any favors since being sent back down. In the month of February, he has just 2 goals and one assist, and a -6 rating. His play is visably lacking the same spark he had before his call up.
One of our sources within the organization says that Santorelli was not pleased about being re-assigned back to Milwaukee, and has displayed a poor attitude for the last two months.
I tiptoed around this with Coach Lambert, and asked him if there was anything different in Santorelli's game, or if he was simply pressing too hard. His reply:
"I think totally he's pressing too hard. His game will turn around when he uses people that are around him. He's trying to do too much, and that's part of his growth as a player is understanding that when you get into these little dry spells you can't do it yourself. You have to use the people around you. He's fighting it right now, there's no question about it. "
I'm certain that "attitude" is part of the reports that are sent to Nashville from here. I think that's on of the main reasons why Pihlstrom got the early call. he was NOT happy about being bounced from training camp...but he came to Milwaukee and busted his butt.
That may explain why it's O'Reilly and not Santorelli getting the look this time.
I love this, I've been complaining most of the season about Trotz not putting out the best lineup at his disposal. But this is a great move. This could be a huge win, and this shows he's trying atleast. Now as long as he doesn't put out VK. With the injuries I think this is our best chance (Santorelli or Horny would have been similar in my opinion). I'm excited about tonight now.
Cal's going to be a stud. I skated with him a couple summers ago and he's got phenomenal hands and can pass the puck as well as anyone. His shot wasn't great before but he was working on it and he knows exactly when to shoot vs. passing. I don't get why he wasn't a higher rated prospect, because I see him as being a 2nd line center in the future capable of putting up a ton of points. You all got a huge steal with him and it's been awesome watching him put up all these goals and points the last few games. It was funny, because I didn't know he had been called up again, then I went to NHL.com the other day, and I see a pic from the Preds-Kings game and I go "Omg I know that guy!" Right after I saw he had just picked up his first NHL goal, so congrats to him and you guys!