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"Return of the Death Star" - 11.22.10 - Nashville at Columbus

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Old
11-23-2010, 11:57 AM
  #76
TMI
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I'm as frustrated as the next guy, but I don't think the coaching staff has lost the team yet. I didn't allow myself to watch much of the game last night after it was apparent, or at least seemed to me, that we wouldn't be skating a full sixty minutes. I saw a couple of lazy penalties (Erat's grabbing of an opponent's stick just to help himself up glares). All in all I didn't see nearly enough last night to comment on it. I've just been working on my temper and overall attitude lately, so until I have that where I want it I simply can't watch certain games.

I will say, however, that to anyone who doesn't think injuries have played a role in how our team has done so far this year, I think you're confusing "depth" with "great depth". We have tons of depth, but that doesn't mean it's great. You lose a Ryan Suter and who do you replace him with out of our depth? The same goes for Legwand's defensive abilities. Goc has been an incredible forward this season, and we lost him for multiple games. Rinne's injury didn't necessarily effect us negatively while he was out, but I do think it effected him enough to cause his poor play for that stint. Injuries aren't the sole reason, but as SLake mentioned in a post further up the page we have definitely taken hits to players we really didn't need to lose. Especially not so close together.

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Old
11-23-2010, 12:41 PM
  #77
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Works hard at what? Turning the puck over?

Ward and Smithson are great 4th line wingers.
Don't sell Smithson short trigg. He can play center on the fourth line pretty well too.

In all seriousness, Smithson and Tootoo are very good fourth line/energy players. Fortunately, most teams need players to play that role (not this team did that much prior to the Carolina game). Neither have yet shown that they are consistently more than that.

Joel Ward can play an effective grinding game, but he's not truly suited for consistent time on a scoring line or a good two-way line (meaning a line that can score consistently while playing great defense as opposed to a line that can play great defense and score on occasion).

Tootoo and Ward can step up to fill injury holes from time to time, but both are not needed to do so at this point with Wilson and Kostitsyn still on the team, even with Legwand and Lombardi both out.

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11-23-2010, 01:48 PM
  #78
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Ward is not a 4th liner. He has offensive skills. He is just on the checking line and most times the checking doesn't score it's a bonus if they do. When your priority is defence then your not going to have many scoring chances. Tootoo and Smithson are 4th liners. We have too many of those. Sk is not a 4th liner. He's a scorer and if he doesn't score then he needs to go. Why is Wilson on the 4th line? This is ridiculous. If he's on the 4th line then he needs to be in Milw. Lombardi is out then Wilson should take his place. We have too many lines that don't make sense even if they don't they don't stay together long enough to gather chemistry. Trotz's offensive philosphy is comical now and he doesn't have a solution. Is it going to take a big hole that we can't get out of to wake this organization up and then see empty seats. The sign says that the bridge is under repair and will soon be shut down. When the bridge shuts down we don't have playoffs. Why does this staff ignore the warning or are they going to lean on the injuries for the excuses.

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11-23-2010, 02:18 PM
  #79
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where are these offensive skills? on the boards with his back to the net? ward is a mucker and a grinder. he eats minutes.

i mean come on now, he is a great guy and good for the community, but if you think he had much offensive skill and upside, you may also believe tootoo is a lady byng candidate, because each is about as real as santa

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Old
11-23-2010, 02:43 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by roseyc View Post
Ward is not a 4th liner. He has offensive skills. He is just on the checking line and most times the checking doesn't score it's a bonus if they do. When your priority is defence then your not going to have many scoring chances. Tootoo and Smithson are 4th liners. We have too many of those. Sk is not a 4th liner. He's a scorer and if he doesn't score then he needs to go. Why is Wilson on the 4th line? This is ridiculous. If he's on the 4th line then he needs to be in Milw. Lombardi is out then Wilson should take his place. We have too many lines that don't make sense even if they don't they don't stay together long enough to gather chemistry. Trotz's offensive philosphy is comical now and he doesn't have a solution. Is it going to take a big hole that we can't get out of to wake this organization up and then see empty seats. The sign says that the bridge is under repair and will soon be shut down. When the bridge shuts down we don't have playoffs. Why does this staff ignore the warning or are they going to lean on the injuries for the excuses.
At a time, I would have agreed with you, but he has less offensive ability than Smithson at this point. He should be nowhere near the PP right now. Any hands he ever had are completely gone, and if the puck comes near him, it's an almost sure-fire turnover. No one on the team whiffs on more open nets.

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Old
11-23-2010, 03:03 PM
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post
I remember one line working hard last night. O'Reilly, Hornqvist and Sully. Other than that, no. Sad that our smallest line is out there hustling and playing the body to some extent while guys with size don't use it. Love it.
I just meant that in seasons past we were considered a gritty, hard-nosed and hard working team. This is not exactly case anymore, sadly.

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11-23-2010, 03:05 PM
  #82
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Are we debating the offensive prowess of the quintessential role player? Seriously?

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11-23-2010, 03:12 PM
  #83
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Are we debating the offensive prowess of the quintessential role player? Seriously?
When that square peg role player is being forced into a round hole power play, then yes...it's subject for debate.

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11-23-2010, 03:21 PM
  #84
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When that square peg role player is being forced into a round hole power play, then yes...it's subject for debate.
Sometimes makes you think the square peg is the one behind the bench, doesn't it? That was my less than obvious point.

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11-23-2010, 03:38 PM
  #85
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IMO you guys need an explosive player up front. No team can really contend without one. I think you'd be surprised how even a mid-tier star like Nash or Koivu would help.

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11-23-2010, 03:41 PM
  #86
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Do you think this team is any less talented than our first team to make the playoffs in 03-04? I really don't. In fact, this team might be more talented on paper. However, that 03-04 team worked hard almost every night and played with passion. I've not really seen that the last couple of seasons.

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11-23-2010, 04:32 PM
  #87
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I do think this team needs an offensive star, but we'll have to be more patient. I'd rather have a team here than risk losing it by trying to make waves without the organization being in the right situation for it. Seems like that happened before, and we still didn't get out of the first round.

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Old
11-23-2010, 04:50 PM
  #88
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I don't blame Trotz for most of this he just needs to do a better job with what little talent we have.

I do think Erat needs to step up, SK needs to actually show this supposed talent, Legwand needs to step up after he gets healthy, we need Suter and Matthew Lobotomi both healthy too.

Any depth we had has been sidelined. We're very thin on talent right now.

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Old
11-23-2010, 05:25 PM
  #89
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Originally Posted by ThirdManIn View Post
I do think this team needs an offensive star, but we'll have to be more patient. I'd rather have a team here than risk losing it by trying to make waves without the organization being in the right situation for it. Seems like that happened before, and we still didn't get out of the first round.
I don't necessarily agree with the offensive star idea. Say we signed Kovy over the summer. I wouldn't see him making a significant difference to the team right now. We'd be more dangerous but we would still struggle. I can't see one guy fixing the offensive problem by himself. Bottom line the guys who make the money have to contribute primary offense and they simply aren't. Dumont, Erat, Leggy, Sully,Hornqvist. They simply aren't living up tp their end of the bargain right now. Combine that with offensive depth guys who aren't producing (Wilson, SK, Ward) and you are in trouble.

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11-23-2010, 05:29 PM
  #90
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To add to the Ward debate I think he does have decent hands but his skating compared to other NHL players can only be described as Sloth like. Why he looks so bad right now is he isn't even using his strengths right now which is strong board play and just generally being hard to take the puck away from in the Offensive zone.

SK is a failed project in my mind. We haven't seen any of his supposed talent because he has the worst compete level of anyone on the team and doesn't create any space for himself to his use so called playmaking skills.

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11-23-2010, 09:02 PM
  #91
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So I've thought about this a little bit today. Part of me wanted to do an in depth analysis of the players on this team. Realistic analysis. No funny business. No rose colored glasses on. Then I thought to myself, it's a waste of my time to do so. Not really feeling like wasting my time this evening do an analysis that we all are aware of.

The thing I don't get is this, when the team exceeds expectations, Trotz is the king around here. He gets the most out of what he's given. When we aren't getting the most out of everyone, it's not his fault, it's that he doesn't have the talent to coach. So I beg to ask the question, which is it? I mean, is he the king or does our talent just suck? To me you can't have it both ways. Trotz does get a lot out of what he's given on a yearly basis. Not gonna debate that. At the same time, when the effort isn't there or problems continually persist, his coaching isn't questioned, it's all of a sudden a roster issue. So things go well, Trotz is the man and when things go bad, the roster is full of no talent hacks.

I've asked this question and not one person has been able to answer it so I'll ask again. Why do we have players on the PP in positions that don't utilize the ability to get off a one timer? If you have a left handed shot at the left face off dot and a right handed shot at the right face off dot, the ability to take a one timer is all but gone. I have never seen this strategy used except for very rare instances yet this has been a pretty big staple of our PP lately. I've also noticed the point men doing the same thing taking away their one timer ability. While one timers aren't the only thing to do on a PP, it's an option worth having. By eliminating those options, we are easier to defend because teams know they don't have to defend the shot and if they do, our guys have to settle it down or take the puck across their body giving the defense time to adjust or get into a blocking position.

For a guy that said he'd take ownership in the PP, the PP I think is actually worse this year than last year. Did I see that we're at 10% on the PP? Really? 10%? We've scored PP goals in 5 out of 19 games this year and in two of those games we scored twice. That means we've gone 14 out of 19 games without a goal on the PP. We're also mired in an 8 game stretch where we haven't scored a PP goal. Sounds eerily familiar to me?

A few things of note. Injuries happen, they suck. You deal with it. The biggest blow by far has been Suter. Losing Legwand is nothing new. Erat being out for a while here and there is nothing new. Lombardi being out is just like having or not having Arnott in the lineup. While missing some of that talent up front hurts, the loss of Suter is not helping but should it decimate us that much? If so, we better re-sign him when the time comes. He and Weber make each other better players as they have skills that compliment each other extremely well. However, one without the other is not as effective.

If this team ever had a shadow of a PP and converted one when it mattered, we could be dangerous. Problem is, we've never been able to deliver and we'll never get past the first round of the playoffs until this is fixed. Obviously Trotz and the staff do not have the ability to fix this problem. It's blatantly obvious that they can't. Will it ever be fixed? Who knows. At the present and current state of the team, I seriously doubt it which makes it very frustrating and perplexing to say the least.

I liken our situation very much to the Titans. Both teams have good coaches but they can't win the big one. They are defensive minded and conservative but at some point, they'll have to learn to take chances because you can't keep doing the same thing and expect different results.

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Old
11-23-2010, 09:19 PM
  #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by predfan24 View Post
To add to the Ward debate I think he does have decent hands but his skating compared to other NHL players can only be described as Sloth like. Why he looks so bad right now is he isn't even using his strengths right now which is strong board play and just generally being hard to take the puck away from in the Offensive zone.

SK is a failed project in my mind. We haven't seen any of his supposed talent because he has the worst compete level of anyone on the team and doesn't create any space for himself to his use so called playmaking skills.
I agree with all this. Ward has very good hands for a player of his caliber, but his skating and decision making are bad. He's a good "3rd line" player at his best, but like the rest of the team, he is struggling.

I agree he shouldn't be seeing the PP, but does it really matter at this point? Who exactly is he taking minutes from? He's on the 2nd unit and saw a fraction of the time that the 1st unit saw. As long as he's not on the 1st unit, then it doesn't matter.

While I do think we need a "star" up front, that really doesn't matter unless the rest of the team is living up to expectations. But I guess you could argue that a star would help fuel the rest of the team. I just don't think our current lineup has fully bought Trotz's system, or Trotz is not teaching it well enough. Trotz needs to gain control of this team.

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11-23-2010, 09:23 PM
  #93
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glenn, post of the year.

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Old
11-23-2010, 09:42 PM
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post
So I've thought about this a little bit today. Part of me wanted to do an in depth analysis of the players on this team. Realistic analysis. No funny business. No rose colored glasses on. Then I thought to myself, it's a waste of my time to do so. Not really feeling like wasting my time this evening do an analysis that we all are aware of.

The thing I don't get is this, when the team exceeds expectations, Trotz is the king around here. He gets the most out of what he's given. When we aren't getting the most out of everyone, it's not his fault, it's that he doesn't have the talent to coach. So I beg to ask the question, which is it? I mean, is he the king or does our talent just suck? To me you can't have it both ways. Trotz does get a lot out of what he's given on a yearly basis. Not gonna debate that. At the same time, when the effort isn't there or problems continually persist, his coaching isn't questioned, it's all of a sudden a roster issue. So things go well, Trotz is the man and when things go bad, the roster is full of no talent hacks.

I've asked this question and not one person has been able to answer it so I'll ask again. Why do we have players on the PP in positions that don't utilize the ability to get off a one timer? If you have a left handed shot at the left face off dot and a right handed shot at the right face off dot, the ability to take a one timer is all but gone. I have never seen this strategy used except for very rare instances yet this has been a pretty big staple of our PP lately. I've also noticed the point men doing the same thing taking away their one timer ability. While one timers aren't the only thing to do on a PP, it's an option worth having. By eliminating those options, we are easier to defend because teams know they don't have to defend the shot and if they do, our guys have to settle it down or take the puck across their body giving the defense time to adjust or get into a blocking position.

For a guy that said he'd take ownership in the PP, the PP I think is actually worse this year than last year. Did I see that we're at 10% on the PP? Really? 10%? We've scored PP goals in 5 out of 19 games this year and in two of those games we scored twice. That means we've gone 14 out of 19 games without a goal on the PP. We're also mired in an 8 game stretch where we haven't scored a PP goal. Sounds eerily familiar to me?

A few things of note. Injuries happen, they suck. You deal with it. The biggest blow by far has been Suter. Losing Legwand is nothing new. Erat being out for a while here and there is nothing new. Lombardi being out is just like having or not having Arnott in the lineup. While missing some of that talent up front hurts, the loss of Suter is not helping but should it decimate us that much? If so, we better re-sign him when the time comes. He and Weber make each other better players as they have skills that compliment each other extremely well. However, one without the other is not as effective.

If this team ever had a shadow of a PP and converted one when it mattered, we could be dangerous. Problem is, we've never been able to deliver and we'll never get past the first round of the playoffs until this is fixed. Obviously Trotz and the staff do not have the ability to fix this problem. It's blatantly obvious that they can't. Will it ever be fixed? Who knows. At the present and current state of the team, I seriously doubt it which makes it very frustrating and perplexing to say the least.

I liken our situation very much to the Titans. Both teams have good coaches but they can't win the big one. They are defensive minded and conservative but at some point, they'll have to learn to take chances because you can't keep doing the same thing and expect different results.
I agree with your assessment on Trotz. I think people are turning a blind eye towards him and blaming the players or talent. He needs to better coach this team. Should be fire him? Of course not. He is an elite coach. But he is not free from blame here.

But I disagree with your focus on the PP. I think you are looking too deeply into it. We will never be a good PP team. That is just a simple fact. Our PP isn't going to magically fix itself over the summer while maintaining the same players. But our problems do not stem from a failed PP. Even if we hit 25% of our PP opportunities from last night, we still lose the game.

We are supposed to be a good even strength team. This is what we need to focus on. Our breakouts are bad and our system is not working. We can't get through the neutral zone, and when we do, we cannot maintain any constant pressure. We are also giving up way too many odd man rushes and not communicating on the backcheck.

The PP is not at the top of my list of things we need to fix. We did very good last year with a horrible PP. Fix even strength play, learn how to maintain pressure and backcheck, then worry about the PP.

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11-23-2010, 10:02 PM
  #95
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I think if you don't have a ton of talent Trotz is a great coach, if you do, maybe it's not the best system. That said, he still doesn't understand how to run a powerplay.

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11-23-2010, 10:12 PM
  #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by predfan24 View Post
I don't necessarily agree with the offensive star idea. Say we signed Kovy over the summer. I wouldn't see him making a significant difference to the team right now. We'd be more dangerous but we would still struggle. I can't see one guy fixing the offensive problem by himself. Bottom line the guys who make the money have to contribute primary offense and they simply aren't. Dumont, Erat, Leggy, Sully,Hornqvist. They simply aren't living up tp their end of the bargain right now. Combine that with offensive depth guys who aren't producing (Wilson, SK, Ward) and you are in trouble.
My point was that you have to look at whose been the Champs in years past. They all had forwards that you can lean on to score. They had a certain swagger about them. Before a game, everyone in the building knew they were dangerous and had to be neutralized.

Chi - Kane, Toews, Hossa
Pit - Malkin, Crosby, Staal
Det - Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen
Ana - Selanne, Getzlaf, McDonald

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11-23-2010, 10:26 PM
  #97
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My point was that you have to look at whose been the Champs in years past. They all had forwards that you can lean on to score. They had a certain swagger about them. Before a game, everyone in the building knew they were dangerous and had to be neutralized.

Chi - Kane, Toews, Hossa
Pit - Malkin, Crosby, Staal
Det - Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen
Ana - Selanne, Getzlaf, McDonald
Now compare that to cap hit and budget.

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11-23-2010, 10:28 PM
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I think if you don't have a ton of talent Trotz is a great coach, if you do, maybe it's not the best system. That said, he still doesn't understand how to run a powerplay.
Except for those years where the PP was in the top 10-12 in the league. We like to rant about how he sucks and overlooks the seasons where he doesn't. Myopia is a defining factor of the Preds fanbase .. we see only what we want and ignore all facts that contradict our limited vision.

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11-23-2010, 10:30 PM
  #99
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I agree with your assessment on Trotz. I think people are turning a blind eye towards him and blaming the players or talent. He needs to better coach this team. Should be fire him? Of course not. He is an elite coach. But he is not free from blame here.

But I disagree with your focus on the PP. I think you are looking too deeply into it. We will never be a good PP team. That is just a simple fact. Our PP isn't going to magically fix itself over the summer while maintaining the same players. But our problems do not stem from a failed PP. Even if we hit 25% of our PP opportunities from last night, we still lose the game.

We are supposed to be a good even strength team. This is what we need to focus on. Our breakouts are bad and our system is not working. We can't get through the neutral zone, and when we do, we cannot maintain any constant pressure. We are also giving up way too many odd man rushes and not communicating on the backcheck.

The PP is not at the top of my list of things we need to fix. We did very good last year with a horrible PP. Fix even strength play, learn how to maintain pressure and backcheck, then worry about the PP.
Sorry, totally gonna disagree with you on the PP thing.

1. You say if we hit 25% on the PP we still lose. Not necessarily. It depends when the goal is scored. If it's the last PP, we more than likely lose but if we score and tie it up at 1-1, it's a different game all together. People forget when one thing changes in a game, the rest of the game is changed. We may lose but we may have won just the same. No guarantees either way but that's a whole another discussion.

2. The team last year was very good at even strength. We were one of the better teams at even strength goals. If for some strange reason our PP clicked at a higher rate, add another 6-8 points to our regular season performance, get a higher seed, maybe get out of the first round. Heck, score more than 1 goal in 6 games on the PP against Chicago and we may actually win that series. Once again, I go back to point number 1, maybe it changes the outcome, maybe it doesn't. I'd sure like to find out what a team with a PP that scores at a rate higher than 4% can do in the playoffs. Look what happened to the Caps last year in the playoffs. They were as bad as us and they got bounced in the first round.

3. Jimmy Johnson said it best, there are three phases to football, offense, defense and special teams. If you win two of those three you'll usually win the game. Well, we are generally pretty solid defensively, our offense is spotty and our special teams have been below average the last two years. Granted, football and hockey are two different sports but Grinder said it best a few weeks ago in a thread, the PK and PP %'s should equal or be greater than 100% to have a successful team. With the PP cranking along at 10%, our PK would need to be at 90% or better and that isn't happening any time soon.

4. I agree, the PP isn't going to fix itself over night but when a coach makes a proclamation in front of a fan base at a state of the union address and takes complete ownership of it and it's gotten worse, it's time to admit you need help and to try to fix what's broken. It means putting your ego aside and/or letting someone go from your staff to help rectify the problem. Loyalty is a wonderful thing but it can also be a hinderance as it blinds your judgement to what's actually going on. We are mired in a stretch of games where we haven't converted on the PP in 8 games. We went thru stretches last season of 9, 8 and I believe 7 games where we didn't score on the PP. I did the research and broke the numbers down over 10 game stretches. While we had some success in the middle of the season, we also had stretches that were atrocious.

5. While I also agree there has been sloppy play at even strength, this is not the biggest area of concern. We win because our even strength play is above average and carries us most nights because our special teams is not getting the job done, either way.

6. PP's are not complex. Win the faceoff, get traffic in front of the net, get the puck going towards the net, hope for deflections, rebounds or garbage goals or screens and the puck goes in. Puck movement is essential. Player movement is essential. Spacing, positioning and the right personnel on the ice essential. If we haven't scored in 8 games on the PP, would you continue to put the same units out there night after night? At some point, I would probably change it. The other night, we had a scenario where the top line and top pairing couldn't be out there at the same time because Weber and Suter had just finished a shift. We had Franson and Bouillon out there with O'Reilly, Sullivan and Hornqvist which seemed to work just fine. Then Weber and Suter came out to play with Erat, Wilson and SK if memory serves me correctly. That unit seemed to look good too. We didn't convert but we were moving the puck and creating chances and controlling the puck and keeping pressure up. This was more a fluke than anything yet I could see an improvement. However, since then, the same guys were back with each other and while Suter has been out, it doesn't help but if we're that contingent on one guy making our PP work, we have some serious issues.

On something completely unrelated, Erat is not going yet and Legwand isn't either. I know we all wanted them broken up but their best production has always been of them together. It may be time to get them back together with either Wilson or SK on their wing or moving Wilson to the middle and letting the two of them play wing, much like with did with Arnott and those two. I realize Legwand is out right now but it would be interesting to see if there is any magic left in that bottle with those two. I'd also like to see Wilson get top line minutes with the better players we have. You don't draft a guy that high to limit his time. As nice as the patient approach is nice, sometimes you have to let guys find their way and see if they sink or swim at this level. While Wilson has the ability to make it, he's being stifled right now and he either needs to sit for a game as a wake up call or he needs to be getting the minutes to produce.

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11-23-2010, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 101st_fan View Post
Except for those years where the PP was in the top 10-12 in the league. We like to rant about how he sucks and overlooks the seasons where he doesn't. Myopia is a defining factor of the Preds fanbase .. we see only what we want and ignore all facts that contradict our limited vision.
When was the last time the team was in the top 10-12 in the league?

I just did the research. I had to go back to the 2005-06 season for a top 12 slot. We had one season at 18 and the rest were in the 25-28 range. So while we did have a top 12 PP for a season 5 years ago, it's been a steady decline with a massive drop off since then. So if you want to discuss the facts, let's discuss. It's been 5 years since we had a PP with any sort of consistency and decent conversion rate. If you think 10% is acceptable, please elaborate. If you think 8 games without a PP is acceptable, I'm listening. If you think not scoring a PP goal in 14 out of 19 games to date is good, I'd like a good explanation. Let's take it back to the playoffs as well, 1 goal in 6 games for an incredible 4% conversion rate. Go back to the 10 or so games before that as well, if I remember correctly, 3-5% range there as well. We are going in the wrong direction with the PP and while living in the past can be a wonderful thing, it's not helping the on ice production today.


Last edited by glenngineer: 11-23-2010 at 10:38 PM. Reason: Looked up facts.
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