Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Predators mull fill-in for Sullivan

Categories: Nashville Predators, VAN vs. NSH, Vancouver Canucks

Story Tools

Colin Wilson played all 82 regular season games for Nashville, but hasn't cracked the lineup in the playoffs. (Bill Boyce/Associated Press) Colin Wilson played all 82 regular season games for Nashville, but hasn't cracked the lineup in the playoffs. (Bill Boyce/Associated Press)

By Tim Wharnsby, CBC Sports

If Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis can complain about the officiating in the Stanley Cup playoffs than Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz felt completely comfortable discussing a couple of questionable calls from Game 3.

Trotz's comments were not orchestrated like Gillis' debriefing with reporters, when he read out statistics about how his team had been penalized more than the Chicago Blackhawks on the off-day between the final two games of Vancouver's first-round series.

Instead, Trotz was queried if he felt any different a day later about the questionable hooking call Predators captain Shea Weber was whistled for when he was checking Vancouver's Ryan Kesler in overtime. The ensuring power-play goal produced Kesler's game-winner.

"I still stand by what I said [after the game]," Trotz said. "I thought it was really light. I thought it was embellished."

Then, on his own, Trotz also questioned Jerred Smithson's high-sticking penalty on Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo late in the first period that led to Kesler's power-play goal early in the second period. A replay clearly indicated that Smithson's stick did not make contact with Luongo's mask when it was lifted over the goalie's head.

"Even the Smithson penalty when I got a look at it, I wasn't very happy with it," Trotz said. "When Smithson got the penalty he just moved his stick over Luongo. All of a sudden his stick goes to the other side, [Luongo's] head kicks back and he gets a penalty. To me, as I said in the last series, that's gamesmanship and I understand that.

"But it's also putting the referees in a tough spot. We have the best referees and if you are going to make them look bad I don't think that's needed in the game."

Despite what the replay showed, Luongo maintained there was contact with his mask. Kesler also felt that Weber was guilty of a penalty in overtime because the stick of the Predators defenceman was parallel to the ice and across Kesler's abdomen area.

Dumont or Wilson?

Predators forward Steve Sullivan has been listed day-to-day with a lower-body injury and will not play in Game 4 on Thursday. The veteran left wing departed Tuesday's game in pain in the third period. Trotz will replace the 36-year-old Sullivan with either J.P. Dumont or Colin Wilson.

Wilson has yet to see action in the playoffs. Trotz soured on the 21-year-old son of former Calgary Flames forward Carey Wilson when the young Wilson finished the regular season with only four goals and nine points in 32 games after the all-star break.

Dumont, 33, subbed in for an injured Martin Erat in the final two games of the first-round series against the Anaheim Ducks. In limited ice time, Dumont provided the screen for Weber's game-winning goal in Game 5 and Dumont picked up an assist in the next game.

But the way Trotz talked on Wednesday it appeared he was leaning towards Wilson.

Go Fish

While the Canucks are concerned about the lack of offensive production from the Henrik and Daniel Sedin, one of Predators top-scoring lines has been silent in the second-round series, too.

Neither centre Mike Fisher nor his wings Sergei Kostitsyn and Patric Hornqvist have checked in with a point in the first three games against Vancouver. Trotz felt the trio has not played together as a unit.

"They're not supporting each other out there," Trotz said. "They're playing too far apart."

Fisher scored three goals in the first round and Hornqvist chipped in a pair, but Kostitsyn, who scored a team-high 23 goals in the regular season, has yet to score in nine playoff games this spring.