“The Right Stuff” / Detroit Red Wings @ Nashville Predators 7:00pm
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12-28-2011, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Originally Posted by
Character/heart aren't exactly "it" that I'm talking about. Comebacks do show fortitude, but getting behind 3-0 every game also shows a lackof something, I'm just not sure what the right term for that something is...
I hate to bring up the topic again, because i've pretty much dropped it and accepted that we have what we have and it isn't all that bad...
But I think the even-tempered/balanced approach that Trotz brings is a factor in this. (yeah I know, he turned over a table once and he "took numbers" once).
It seems that the Preds rarely come out with fire, either in a big game against a division rival, or against a weak opponent that could be finished off early.
I've never heard a Trotz pre-game speech personally, but his approach to everything, his responses in radio interviews (both post-game and others) suggest that his approach is to downplay the emotion of the situation and make sure his team is focused on whatever gameplan is installed for the next opponent. I think some of it is a by-product of letting the opponents style dictate how the Preds play. In the early years the Preds roster pretty much was what it was, so they didn't have the flexibility to adjust to the opponent, they simply played their game which was hard work and battling for 60 minutes. Now we have a more versatile roster and it's clear that rather than developing an identity, sticking to it and forcing it on the opponent, we all-to-often try to adapt to what the opponent is forcing upon the Preds. Either way, the result is that the players are thinking more about what they need to do to match an opponent, than about coming out with fire and playing their game.
A byproduct is that when it doesn't work early, it seems to rattle the players and snowball. Then we see a switch back to something more familiar and they start the comeback. The identity went from that hard working, grinding, chippy squad... to the defensively sound team that could limit quality chances and capitalize on mistakes... to whatever we have now. Not particularly good on the blueline, not too threatening offensively (unless it's desperation time). A roster full of generic players with some upside, but not unsure of itself and what it wants to be/can become.
It's not all bad, it's not like this approach is getting them blown out routinely and stinking it up in the basement of the league. But it's also limiting to where they can go, it's a middling approach that leads to middling results. We got the right opponent in the playoffs last season, facing Emery and his hip was a blessing, a few players stepped up and all the breaks went our way. That won't happen very often and you can't expect to adapt to an opponent through 7 games every series and succeed. You need an identity that you can force on an opponent. And it seems that for a team on a budget, it has to be a grinding, hard working, fiery identity. It can be supplemented with young talent that we now have in the system that we didn't have in the early days.
A lot of the pieces are there, a few changes need to be made. The approach to gameday is certainly one of them. I don't know if Trotz is capable of changing at this point. I don't want to start a fire Trotz topic again, just pointing out why I think the Preds come out flat so often.
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