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

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11-23-2010, 09:38 PM
  #101
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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.
First .. eerily familiar is my phrase, pay your royalties to my bar tab.

One of the facts we have to accept is that teams on a budget can't gamble too much. that isn't to say that Trotz and Poile don't play things too close to the vest at times, but, as a rule you never gamble more than you can afford to lose. In our case that isn't a lot.

The PP this year is frustrating as hell. Things started off well, then went straight into the toilet. Some of this is attributable to the injuries, but the fact that we keep having similar problems over the past four seasons is highlighted again this year and goes beyond the guys we've had in street clothes. 10% sucks .. period. At least last season it was just 5on4 .... 5on3 and 4on3 looked good ... this season we need to find a way to decline.

I'm not trying to figure it out right now. I'll enjoy watching the games ... and hope to see more wins than losses. There are more important things than stressing out over a hockey team.

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11-23-2010, 09:42 PM
  #102
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Originally Posted by 101st_fan View Post
First .. eerily familiar is my phrase, pay your royalties to my bar tab.

One of the facts we have to accept is that teams on a budget can't gamble too much. that isn't to say that Trotz and Poile don't play things too close to the vest at times, but, as a rule you never gamble more than you can afford to lose. In our case that isn't a lot.

The PP this year is frustrating as hell. Things started off well, then went straight into the toilet. Some of this is attributable to the injuries, but the fact that we keep having similar problems over the past four seasons is highlighted again this year and goes beyond the guys we've had in street clothes. 10% sucks .. period. At least last season it was just 5on4 .... 5on3 and 4on3 looked good ... this season we need to find a way to decline.

I'm not trying to figure it out right now. I'll enjoy watching the games ... and hope to see more wins than losses. There are more important things than stressing out over a hockey team.
Then don't dangle the carrot in front of this horse. Have a great Thanksgiving and thanks for the little chuckle.

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11-23-2010, 09:59 PM
  #103
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Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post

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? .
i will answer it. because outside of shea weber hitting a one timer 10 feet to either side of the net, we have no one that is any good at this. with out personnel, trying to balst from the blue line and clean up trash is about as good as it is gonna get.

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11-24-2010, 09:05 AM
  #104
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While the results aren't there, the PP has improved in that there's more movement of both puck and players, more options and more chances. End of each PP we hear how many shots on goal, not how many shots at goal. There are some issues, the big one being lack of results, but the PP is much different then the last few years. I'm not defending Trotz or the players, it's the results that count, but I'm seeing an improvement in the basics.
FWIW, we've had 70 PP opportunities and converted only 7. Pretty bad. But if we would have made 5 more we'd be at around 12-13 in the league around 17% and we probably wouldn't be having this conversation. It's not as far off as it would seem.

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11-24-2010, 09:07 AM
  #105
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Originally Posted by jlsg View Post
While the results aren't there, the PP has improved in that there's more movement of both puck and players, more options and more chances. End of each PP we hear how many shots on goal, not how many shots at goal. There are some issues, the big one being lack of results, but the PP is much different then the last few years. I'm not defending Trotz or the players, it's the results that count, but I'm seeing an improvement in the basics.
FWIW, we've had 70 PP opportunities and converted only 7. Pretty bad. But if we would have made 5 more we'd be at around 12-13 in the league around 17% and we probably wouldn't be having this conversation. It's not as far off as it would seem.
If we had only scored 5 more goals we would have most likely had won more games too, that's kind of why everyone is frustrated. We're not winning many games because we're one of the worst scoring teams in the NHL.

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11-24-2010, 09:30 AM
  #106
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wait, you mean scoring on the power play brings success and not choking the life out of the neutral zone?

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11-24-2010, 09:52 AM
  #107
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Originally Posted by triggrman View Post
If we had only scored 5 more goals we would have most likely had won more games too, that's kind of why everyone is frustrated. We're not winning many games because we're one of the worst scoring teams in the NHL.
Finally. The PP isn't the problem, it's scoring in general. We're creating chances but we aren't finishing. The same problem we had last year and the year before. This is a talent issue. In order for this team to do well, every piece has to work perfectly. We've seen that happen on a few games and it's fun to watch. We don't have the caliber of player that can put the team on their shoulders and win games when others aren't having a good game. Closest we have would be our top d line, but they aren't going to win games, their just going to keep us from losing games. When they have a bad day it's really noticeable (see Toronto).

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11-24-2010, 11:10 AM
  #108
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I think we have all acknowledged at some point the margin for error for this team as built is razor thin. One key player injury or under performing role player and they are likely gonna lose. This is why they all have to work so hard and execute each and every game.

With Legwand and Suter out things have to stack up almost perfectly and we may need a lucky bounce or two. And this team has not even had a chance for Lombardi to be a factor on the roster yet.

Yes, injuries are part of the game. A team built on a shoestring budget needs lots of breaks and has to be built smartly. I think if the Preds can get healthy now, they are positioned to reel off a hot streak again. Peks seems to have regained his form. The Leaf meltdown may have been cathartic for them.


Last edited by darth5: 11-24-2010 at 11:10 AM. Reason: typo
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Old
11-25-2010, 07:20 PM
  #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlsg View Post
While the results aren't there, the PP has improved in that there's more movement of both puck and players, more options and more chances. End of each PP we hear how many shots on goal, not how many shots at goal. There are some issues, the big one being lack of results, but the PP is much different then the last few years. I'm not defending Trotz or the players, it's the results that count, but I'm seeing an improvement in the basics.
FWIW, we've had 70 PP opportunities and converted only 7. Pretty bad. But if we would have made 5 more we'd be at around 12-13 in the league around 17% and we probably wouldn't be having this conversation. It's not as far off as it would seem.



Well, if we had scored at the percentage in the playoffs we're probably into round 2.

If we had scored 5 more the conversation wouldn't be happening? You sure? Maybe so, maybe not but we haven't scored 5 more. We're at the bottom of the league once again. If this were anomaly I'd say, no biggie but this is a trend over the last few seasons.

I had seen an improvement early on as well but watching the third period last night is one of those times that a PP goal wins us the game more than likely yet we go to a shootout a lose a point to a division rival.

I wish someone upstairs, whether it be an owner or Poile would call out this team in the media. While it's not the norm around here, it would serve as a wake up call that this is a business and it's about results. Trotz can light a fire under the players all he wants but why is someone not lighting a fire under his butt? I'm not advocating a Steinbrenner regime but the hands off approach only goes so far. There needs to be some accountability for a guy who said he would take over this unit only to make it worse than it was last year.

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11-25-2010, 08:30 PM
  #110
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Trotz did call them out after the game last night, in his own weird sorta way. PP isn't horrible all the time, just very inconsistent. It is a problem but my point is I'm seeing improvement. It's a different philosophy. More importantly it's different for different teams. It's even different between PP1 and PP2. Different entries and different setups. Again, I'm not saying all is rosy with unicorns and rainbows, but something has been done.

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11-25-2010, 09:41 PM
  #111
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Originally Posted by jlsg View Post
Trotz did call them out after the game last night, in his own weird sorta way. PP isn't horrible all the time, just very inconsistent. It is a problem but my point is I'm seeing improvement. It's a different philosophy. More importantly it's different for different teams. It's even different between PP1 and PP2. Different entries and different setups. Again, I'm not saying all is rosy with unicorns and rainbows, but something has been done.
Jay, I'm beginning to think that is half the problem.

Right now, players are wrong-handed for their spot on the ice and odd personnel choices are being used for certain roles. Everyone seems to take too long to make a decision (and it doesn't help that they typically have to stop the puck allowing the defense to close). Opposing teams have figured out how to play the Nashville PP, just play an aggressive kill since the Predators cannot move the puck quickly and often turn the puck over.

It needs to be simplified.

This team is extremely strong on the blue line with one player that has a very accurate and quick shot in Franson, one player that has a booming shot in Weber, one player that is one of the best in the league in bringing the puck up the ice in Suter, and another that should be able to use his speed to similar results in Klein.

They also have one of the best net presence players in the league in Hornqvist.

In addition to that, there's a pretty good supply of forwards (both right and left handed shots) that can play a "digger" role (Wilson, Ward, Tootoo) or a quarterback role (O'Reilly, Sullivan, Legwand, Kostitsyn, etc.).

Let's make this real simple. Run an umbrella formation with Hornqvist in the left-front net position and Wilson in the right-front net position. Put Weber at the top of the left face off circle (moving him closer in an effort to make him more accurate- if not, put Franson in his stead), Suter at the center point and Kostitsyn at the top of the right face off circle. (You could put O'Reilly there or Sullivan there too, but I shied away from Sullivan given his tendency to turn the puck over.)

Two passes and a shot. Players should have that drilled into them- two passes and a shot. Hornqvist and Wilson are responsible for rebounds and digging the puck out of the corners and back out to the point.

There is nothing wrong with the talent that's on the ice- or better said, the talent is there to be successful.

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11-25-2010, 10:05 PM
  #112
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I've seen the wrong handed thing mentioned a couple of times. It's only wrong if your trying to setup one timers. There's a couple of formations they use, one with the d setup "wrong handed" they other with them setup for one timers. We saw both Wed night. The wrong handed setup is trying to use Weber as a decoy of sorts, trying to get a back door play setup. Also being in a conventional setup may help in getting some pucks on the net. Shooters (Weber and Franson) may feel more comfortable on that side. Franson seems to score more often from the right side, not setup for a one timer. Getting them setup for one timers that miss the net by a foot isn't all that beneficial.
Again, I'm not saying that everything that is happening is going to work, but at least we're seeing changes. That's all I'm trying to point out.

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11-25-2010, 10:17 PM
  #113
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Originally Posted by jlsg View Post
I've seen the wrong handed thing mentioned a couple of times. It's only wrong if your trying to setup one timers. There's a couple of formations they use, one with the d setup "wrong handed" they other with them setup for one timers. We saw both Wed night. The wrong handed setup is trying to use Weber as a decoy of sorts, trying to get a back door play setup. Also being in a conventional setup may help in getting some pucks on the net. Shooters (Weber and Franson) may feel more comfortable on that side. Franson seems to score more often from the right side, not setup for a one timer. Getting them setup for one timers that miss the net by a foot isn't all that beneficial.
Again, I'm not saying that everything that is happening is going to work, but at least we're seeing changes. That's all I'm trying to point out.
Quite true Jay (and you've likely seen me being a primary "mentioner" ).

I care less about the ability to fire one-timers (although they appear to be a more feasible option for the more accurate Franson than a scatter shot like Weber) and more about the players having to stop the puck and pull it across their body before they are able to either shoot or pass (with anything on it anyway).

Those microseconds are what's killing this team as the defense can easily get pressure to the points and either force turnovers or kill the play.

You would think that one could design a PP that can take advantage of backdoor plays while still maximizing the efficiency of a player's ability to accept a pass and take the next action.

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11-26-2010, 07:47 AM
  #114
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JLSG and David, my point about the one timers wasn't the only thing that can be accomplished from that formation. The players have the ability to pass in any direction but with the wrong handed shot they are taking away an option or a good option of being able to pass back quickly or to a different spot on the ice. The game is so fast that a micro second of time that it takes for the puck to come across the body is enough time for a defender to close in. Then the time it takes to redeliver the puck gives them that much more time to close in.

I think what David was saying is right, simplify. Pucks to the net, have guys dig the puck out, go for dirty goals or get the puck back to the point. I think the talent is there or the pieces are there at the very least, it's just a matter of utilizing them better.

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11-26-2010, 10:27 AM
  #115
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wish we could just decline the penalties...

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11-26-2010, 10:32 AM
  #116
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It's actually easier to pass from the conventional position. That's why left handed dmen play left defense and right handed dmen play right defense. The only reason to switch to the off hand side is to set up for the one timer. Many times you want the defender to come after you. That means someone is open.

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