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08-03-2011, 07:45 AM
  #1
glenngineer
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Are We Cup Contenders?

You know, I keep reading that we're this close to being a Cup contender and adding one scorer will take us over the top. Really? One scorer will do that? Well, David Poile, go out and get an elite scorer. But Glenn, if I do that, I'll have to trade away one of Weber or Suter or a bunch of our depth to do so. DP, well, we're this close, you can do it, make the move. Glenn, I'd love to but if I do that and can't re-sign any of my big three and I trade off some of my assets, I'll have effectively gutted my farm system for one good run at a Cup. DP, I see your point but the fan base is thinking you sit on your arse and do nothing to improve the team over the summers. Glenn, I'm a patient man and I've tried to build a strong foundation here with a good drafting and development. While they may think it's boring, it's the right long term solution. DP, I agree but at some point you have to take a chance. Glenn, I will take a chance when the time is right.

OK, enough fantasy land. People, even if we land one elite forward, who are they going to play with? Erat, Legwand, Fisher, SK? Some guys like Rick Nash can get it done without anyone on their lines but if the other team shuts them down, then what, we're back to counting on all these other guys to score just as we are now. If anything, we're likely two top 6 forwards away from being a serious contender. I don't see how making the second round once in our existence puts us in a position to blow everything up for one chance as many of you put it at a Cup. It was great doing what we did last season. We need to build on it, not try to build so high that we topple over and start from scratch again. The foundation is laid, now we need to add another layer of stability to that. That layer is keeping our home grown talent:Suter, Weber and Rinne and adding some more pieces to that. We're not as close as some of you think and I don't see how this window is going to close so soon. As long as we keep our big 3 and add to them, we have the pieces coming and hopefully we add to them in the next few years. It's not as if defensemen of an elite nature don't play well into their 30's these, Pronger, Lidstrom, Bourque. I see no reason why Weber and Suter aren't in that same class. That's basically another 8-10 years for them. So tell me how is that a small window? Does Detroit blow up their roster if they don't win a Cup? No. They keep the main parts together and tweak their roster. They've also had time to develop a system and culture. We are trying to do the same thing. Remember Ottawa? They built properly, went for it all and are already in a rebuild with very little talent. Be careful what you wish for, go for it now and I guarantee in a few years we'll be picking in the top 5 for a few years.

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08-03-2011, 08:35 AM
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It doesn't even have to necessarily be an elite guy; get a few 65+ pt guys. We need guys that can generate offense and a finisher or two. Spread it out, but we need creative players and finishers.

With such an elite defense and goaltending, a few offensive weapons to score PP goals, score against the run of play and take pressure off your defense that team is legit.

Just look at the Boston Bruins.

We already have another thread discussing if the team needs offense.

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08-03-2011, 08:39 AM
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glenngineer
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Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
It doesn't even have to necessarily be an elite guy; get a few 65+ pt guys. We need guys that can generate offense and a finisher or two. Spread it out, but we need creative players and finishers.

With such an elite defense and goaltending, a few offensive weapons to score PP goals, score against the run of play and take pressure off your defense that team is legit.

Just look at the Boston Bruins.

We already have another thread discussing if the team needs offense.
My point was are we really cup contenders? Adding offense doesn't mean we become contenders. It's how we add those pieces. If we trade our farm we lose depth and if we can't re-sign key free agents, we're screwed and starting over again.

I agree, we need a few more guys that can net 65+ a year. That's in an ideal world. A trade should be in the works, if not a few of them. I hope it happens and turns us into a contender but I don't want to see the farm decimated to see it happen either.

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08-03-2011, 08:43 AM
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To answer your question, yes we are cup contenders. We needed more offense against Vancouver and would have against Boston as well. With such an elite defense an improved offense would done wonders.

I disagree in the notion that we have to completely gut the farm in order to improve our offense. Yeah we'll lose assets but we have a deep enough prospect pool to handle it. You have to get offense somewhere: either drafted (not happening), free agent signing or via trade.

I'm fine with losing assets to improve in an area that we haven't improved on.

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08-03-2011, 08:57 AM
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I don't believe we would have to sell the farm either. We're one, maybe two more offensively inclined players away from being one of the most dominant teams in the league rather than just scraping by and limping into the 6th-8th slots.

Trading Weber for a couple of decent forwards could do the trick. They don't have to be stud game-breakers, but if we were able to add a guy capable of 25-30 goals, and another capable of 20, and bring in a free agent like Scott Hannan on the blueline... well, it's not as nice as keeping Weber, but I bet by the time the playoffs rolled around we wouldn't be hearing a lot of complaints.

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08-03-2011, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Legionnaire11 View Post
I don't believe we would have to sell the farm either. We're one, maybe two more offensively inclined players away from being one of the most dominant teams in the league rather than just scraping by and limping into the 6th-8th slots.

Trading Weber for a couple of decent forwards could do the trick. They don't have to be stud game-breakers, but if we were able to add a guy capable of 25-30 goals, and another capable of 20, and bring in a free agent like Scott Hannan on the blueline... well, it's not as nice as keeping Weber, but I bet by the time the playoffs rolled around we wouldn't be hearing a lot of complaints.
I think I like this suggestion the best to be honest. Trading Weber would net us the offense we've been sorely lacking while not gutting the farm. Adding a guy like Hannan would add veteran stability. We could pair Hannan with Blum and have Klein with Suter as our top 2 pairings which still doesn't suck at all.

I could live with that.

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08-03-2011, 09:12 AM
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Yes, and we can elaborate later while flaunting intellectual dominance over the people of BWW later.

I think we will be better this year than last just with full years of fisher and the kids. That has been outlined and rehashed one a week in different threads. Toughness is an issue on the backend.

What I see is how close we were last year. Let's call a spade a spade, we were terrible in the West Semis, and we were still there on the cusp. We were on the cusp of beating a cup finalist and we came up short because our best players weren't our best players. I want to believe that does not happen again. A great goalie and 2 dmen that suck up half a hockey game is tough to beat.

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08-03-2011, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Legionnaire11 View Post
I don't believe we would have to sell the farm either. We're one, maybe two more offensively inclined players away from being one of the most dominant teams in the league rather than just scraping by and limping into the 6th-8th slots.

Trading Weber for a couple of decent forwards could do the trick. They don't have to be stud game-breakers, but if we were able to add a guy capable of 25-30 goals, and another capable of 20, and bring in a free agent like Scott Hannan on the blueline... well, it's not as nice as keeping Weber, but I bet by the time the playoffs rolled around we wouldn't be hearing a lot of complaints.
Seems to me Fisher has scored 20 or more goals four time in his career including 2009-10 and, almost, 2010-11. Is that the player you're asking Poile to add?

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08-03-2011, 10:56 AM
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Seems to me Fisher has scored 20 or more goals four time in his career including 2009-10 and, almost, 2010-11. Is that the player you're asking Poile to add?
I define Fisher as good in the category as great and really good and good. Fisher best years are behind him but that doesn't mean he can't score 20 goals but we need a legit 30 to 40 goal scorer and then the play of the other players will vastly improve and the pressure will be off them. The other team sure will put their best on our most productive line but that will open up our other lines. We win 1-0 and 2-1 games why not try the 4-3 or 5-4 games type. Tampa does it they don't have an elite defenseman or an elite goalie but their offense has two productive lines and look how far they went

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08-03-2011, 11:19 AM
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I define Fisher as good in the category as great and really good and good. Fisher best years are behind him but that doesn't mean he can't score 20 goals but we need a legit 30 to 40 goal scorer and then the play of the other players will vastly improve and the pressure will be off them. The other team sure will put their best on our most productive line but that will open up our other lines. We win 1-0 and 2-1 games why not try the 4-3 or 5-4 games type. Tampa does it they don't have an elite defenseman or an elite goalie but their offense has two productive lines and look how far they went
Don't disagree. I was responding to the comment about adding a 25 and a 20 goal scorer.

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08-03-2011, 11:22 AM
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40 goal scorers are too rare these days, and there's no way that Weber is traded for one. Sure every team in the NHL would love to add Shea Weber to their team, but only 5 players hit the 40 goal mark last season... teams will not give up such a commodity to add another.

30 goal scorers? only 2 others hit 35 goals, and another 22 who managed to reach 30. This means that there are not enough 30 goal scorers in the NHL for each team to have one. To reiterate, teams would have to seriously weaken themselves in one aspect to add in another, the only way a trade for one of these players happens is if the goal scorer is demanding a trade.

This is why i'm saying a more realistic trade is to bring back a potential 25 and 20. The Predators only had 20 players hit 20 goals in the each of the last two seasons, so adding two more, plus a full season with Fisher (who could possibly still hit 20 as he potted 5 in 27 with the Preds last season despite a serious slump). It would be more similar to years that the Preds iced 5 players with 20 goals, and not coincidentally challenged for the division title before landing in the 4th seed.

Ideally, Weber signs long term and we eventually forget this summer ever happened. But if he has to go, then this is the way I see a deal going down.

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08-03-2011, 12:00 PM
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I think the biggest reason a single pure scorer can put us close to the top, if not over, is the PP. Last season our 5-on-5 scoring was 11th in the league. That's pretty good. One spot out of the top third. With our anemic PP mixed in, we dropped to 21st in total offense. Sure an elite scorer might not increase our 5-on-5 scoring too much, but we don't need that. Since we aren't looking to increase 5-on-5 scoring, the argument that one elite guy will simply be defended leaving it up to everyone else to score essentially goes out the window. Yes, a PK can key in on one guy and take him out. We see it with Weber. If we add a true, top line goal scorer then we force the PK to make the decision of who to shut down. The guy with the puck? Weber at the point? Joe GoalScorer in the high slot? You see where I'm going with this? The PP is what is keeping our offense from being among the best in the league. I think the PP can be greatly improved with a single forward, even if ES scoring isn't. The trouble is "can be" is a long way away from "will be".

edit: does getting into the top 10 offensively make us a Cup favorite? I don't know, but being outside of the top 10 isn't going to help our chances at all.

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08-03-2011, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
It doesn't even have to necessarily be an elite guy; get a few 65+ pt guys. We need guys that can generate offense and a finisher or two. Spread it out, but we need creative players and finishers.

With such an elite defense and goaltending, a few offensive weapons to score PP goals, score against the run of play and take pressure off your defense that team is legit.

Just look at the Boston Bruins.

We already have another thread discussing if the team needs offense.
THe Boston Bruins didn't have a single 65+ point guy. And they went through some danged good defensive teams to win that Cup.

If you want to build the Bruins way, Focus your strength on two-way players in the 40-50 point range but strong at defense and puck possession, roll 3-4 lines of depth, and let the Impekkable Rinne carry you the way Thomas carried us. You have the D to make a system like that work for you. You won't be a sexy team, but you'll win some games and give yourself a chance in the postseason.

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08-03-2011, 12:54 PM
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I think as long as you can make the playoffs you are a cup contender. The first round of the playoffs is almost always filled with surprises and tends to be a bit crazy. You look in past years where you had Calgary, Edmonton, Carolina etc advancing to the finals, none of those teams were "cup contenders" for most people but once you get there, anything can happen. Last couple years I think have been less suprises with teams like pittsburg, detroit, boston, chicago, philadelphia (was 8th seed? but solid team regardless), vancouver etc making it to the finals. But as long as you can make it, you always have a chance, its never going to be easy but just because you are a #1 seed, doesnt mean its an easy road either.

I am not sure what to expect from the Preds this year, they generally play the same way, and they have been consistent making the playoffs so theres not really any reason they wont make it again this year. But the west is competitive, and hopefully the whole Weber scenario doesnt have a negative impact on the dressing room.

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08-03-2011, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Dojji View Post
THe Boston Bruins didn't have a single 65+ point guy. And they went through some danged good defensive teams to win that Cup.

If you want to build the Bruins way, Focus your strength on two-way players in the 40-50 point range but strong at defense and puck possession, roll 3-4 lines of depth, and let the Impekkable Rinne carry you the way Thomas carried us. You have the D to make a system like that work for you. You won't be a sexy team, but you'll win some games and give yourself a chance in the postseason.
I didn't look up their exact stats but your point goes along with mine. If the Preds don't have to break the bank with a top end guy but could get by with several offensive weapons. The thing is we don't even have 60+ guys.

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08-03-2011, 01:28 PM
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Yes, and we can elaborate later while flaunting intellectual dominance over the people of BWW later.

I think we will be better this year than last just with full years of fisher and the kids. That has been outlined and rehashed one a week in different threads. Toughness is an issue on the backend.

What I see is how close we were last year. Let's call a spade a spade, we were terrible in the West Semis, and we were still there on the cusp. We were on the cusp of beating a cup finalist and we came up short because our best players weren't our best players. I want to believe that does not happen again. A great goalie and 2 dmen that suck up half a hockey game is tough to beat.
This.

Poile has had a plan for building this team. That plan took a hit with Lombardi going out in game 2 last year. Fishers acquisition just got us back to where poile intended us to be at the start of last season. Who knows what we might have done at the trade deadline if we had been flush at center??

SLake ran the numbers. I cant link them but he showed that when we had 3 healthy legit top 9 centers we were scoring at a clip of greater than 3 goals per game, which was top 5 in the league.

We are a good, solid team right now. We could compete for a Cup with just this roster, but we'd need a lot of breaks to go our way. Adding some scoring depth is whats needed to push us up into that tier of teams that would be considered "legit contenders".. the bone of contention is how desperate should we be to add that scoring depth.

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