Just Throwing It Out There
This might be an unpopular idea among L & N Liners and Nashville Predators fans, but if the Preds are going to play like this against good teams all the time and especially if they lose again in the first round...isn't it time we say goodbye to Barry Trotz?
Forget emotions, forget that he's been the guy since 1998, forget that he's done a great job...maybe the next level isn't possible under him, or maybe he's not able to go to the next level with this organization. To watch, or listen to, this team get completely outplayed by the good teams has worn on me as a fan, I don't know about you guys. And it's not like the Preds don't have good players.
Maybe it's the young defense making mistakes that is mostly to blame. I haven't gotten a chance to watch many games...to put it more accurately, I've seen only one and that was in person. But I've listened to a great many; probably more than ever. Games like tonight's 4-2 loss to the Stars (again) have a familiar rhythm: mistakes on defense which are almost always turned into goals by the other team and take your pick on offensive blunders: either the players don't have the ability to evade a defense or someone is missing a wide open goal. Every time I hear Kariya's name now I associate it with shooting wide or over the goal. But I think the most frustrating thing about listening to these games is that they never seem to be the aggressor. They never seem to be in control, even when they're ahead. How many times has a lead vanished in the final minute of a period?
Maybe getting some more of their guys back will be the factor. Maybe getting Hartnell, Erat, Sullivan, and Nichol back is the key. But I'm not so sure. The Preds have more than enough guys to be able to compete and they aren't.
Some stats: They are 15-20 versus teams either in the playoffs or still alive in the playoffs, including 1-3 versus Dallas, 2-6 Detroit, 1-3 Minnesota, 2-2 washes against Anaheim and Vancouver (both teams won the last game), and finally two winning records: 3-1 against San Jose of all teams, and 3-1 versus current eighth seed Calgary (who won their last meeting). Against Colorado, still in the mix and with one game remaining in Denver, the Preds are 1-2.
Here's what I'm saying: In any sport, adjustments need to be made when things aren't working. The current way the Preds play isn't working. We can't even look on the bright side here and say, well, they just need some pucks to find the net because other teams are making some lucky stops. This is not the case. It's time to stop pretending or else it will be another early exit and potentially, a move out of Nashville.