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04-24-2007, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by SmokeyClause View Post
I take it that you don't want to fire Trotz. Or at the very least, you are playing devil's advocate to the throngs in favor of his departure.

If we keep Trotz, what changes to the roster have to occur so that we can make it out of the first round next year? Trotz has been widely criticized by intelligent and idiotic fans alike on these boards. A lot of those criticism are valid.

My concern with keeping Trotz is what roster will it take to make it past the first round? There's a strong argument that it is a system flaw that keeps us in this rut.

I've heard a few counter that Trotz has created this system around the talent that he has been given. My response to this is why haven't we tried to duplicate Buffalo's system? Living in an Eastern Conference city, I've had the good fortune of watching the Sabres compete approximately a doze times this year.

In my opinion, they are a shining example of what our team could be with the right system implementation. I look at the makeup of Buffalo's roster and see distinct similarities with how each team is built. Despite this, Buffalo seemed to be a more dominant squad. And the Sabres had significant injury issues, much like the Preds did.

What really impressed me most about Buffalo was their ability to run their system regardless of the situation (i.e. time remaining, score, opposing team). That is something that, for a variety of reasons, we simply cannot do. There are times when it appears that we must get verbal acceptance from the other team allowing us to run our system. If they refuse, we are completely at their mercy. Buffalo, on the other hand, imposes their system upon anyone. And it works.

I've advocated going all out and acquiring a veteran Dman to spell Timonen in our top pairing/SH. So I'm not one that thinks this roster was the best going into the playoffs. I don't think it was the odds on favorite to win the cup. That being said, from the handful of games I've witnessed and interaction with a lot of knowledgable posters such as yourself and 303, it is very evident that we had some system-related flaws that severely impacted our season.
Honestly Smokey, I am ambivalent about firing or keeping Trotz at this point.
Much of my postings on this thread in particular have been in response to the knee-jerk call for his head that many posters here, as well as many more on have screamed out since our early dimise. Much of that vitriol has been an emotional blame game that is frankly not well thought out for the most part. So I have, in fact, been trying to play the devil's advocate, to some degree, to try and interject some reflection and analysis to the situation. As SLake and I have both tried to point is a much more complex decison to change coaching regimes than most people would think on the surface and considerable care needs to be taken to find the right "match" for the personnel that we have under contract. I don't know that there is a coach available that wouldn't require and significant rebuilding process to impliment his system in the short term. As I said in a prior post....I don't think we have 2-3 years of ramp up time to make it happen, as precarious as our franchise is now in as attendance quotas for revenue sharing are in place coupled with fan expectation that our success in the regular season has brought on.

As to your Buffalo question it is a valid one. They DO impart their will on their opponents it does seem, unlike us. I am not sure if that is a system or personnel etiology....or more likely both. I think Ruff and Trotz are both "player coaches" and genuinely liked by their players.
Truely, I think the lack of accountability for stupid penalties comes more from the "room" but is also fostered by a "hands off" approach by Trotz that fosters the seeming lack of accountability despite all the lip service. Coaches like Torts, Hitch, Sutter, and Babcock are all not as "liked" by their players, but tend to have a much shorter flame out period because of this adversarial relationship.

Do certain players not want to play under the whip....most likely yes......
Are these the same players that maybe don't have the mentally toughness to dig down deep when it all counts.... maybe yes as well.
Are Trotz's and Poile's "caring family-type enviroment" and "Preds culture" that Fiddler and other players speak of a weakness when it comes to doing what it takes to win in the playoffs...maybe so.
Is this why Poile doesn't have a good track record in the Playoffs....the lack of the "Lou Lamorillo fear-factor"...could very well be.

Anyway...there are many issues at play here....many obvious, but many more that lie below the surface. The fact the Poile and Trotz have worked "so well together" in the past makes me think that it will be very difficult for him to cut Trotz loose given the support that both Leipold and the players have voiced so far in support of Trotz.
I think Poile will do the "easy 'Patient Poile' choice" and sign Trotz and his staff for another year and trumpet the successes of the organization as a whole, despite the failures in the Playoffs.

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