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Preds VS Sens....1/11/2014 ( My Birthday Game)

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Old
01-11-2014, 11:36 PM
  #126
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Originally Posted by Russian Pred View Post
I hope we fire Trotz during or after this season. Team needs a new direction. Don't know who was instrumental in the decision making of signing Hutton but those responsible should go too. Same goes for pretty much the rest of the summer's acquisitions. We could have gotten Grabovski to give us some offensive power but got other teams junk. If Poile was the one making all these decisions I say cut him loose too.
I remain doubtful that any of these firings are going to take place because either the team ownership doesn't know or care enough about hockey or we are just too nice of an organization. Even the Titans cut their coach twice already.
If fans get really frustrated and stop spending money on this team, just watch. Our ownership group is a collection of businessmen, and falling profits will speak to them.

The very mention of people like Grabovski, Lecavalier, Filpulla (sp?), etc. being free agents this summer makes me cringe. I was in the northwoods wildneress of Maine when all of this went down (the last thing I heard before I lost cell reception was a text saying "we take Jones"). When I back, my brother called me and updated me on the off-season and I had a meltdown.

Of course, there's no guarantee these guys would have signed here, but we can't use money as an excuse when we dished out these awful contracts to Nystrom and Hendricks.

The Hutton issue...don't even get me started. I had hope early, but that experiment has failed. Could you imagine if Mazenec didn't come out of nowhere? A Hutton-Hellberg tandem would have us easily 4-6 points worse right now.

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01-11-2014, 11:39 PM
  #127
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To this point, Enoch, do we have better luck scoring if more of our "skill guys" get into the greasy spots and work for the garbage goals like Nystrom and Goose? I guess..."Preds hockey?"
You always need greasy goals and garbage goals. We have a few players willing to do that. You also have to have players able to create scoring lanes, to get into the slot at the right time, to have tape-to-tape passes, and to move the puck effectively in traffic.

The Predators struggle as a team with passing, getting players in shooting lanes, transitioning the puck, and generally being able to create offense at even strength.

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01-11-2014, 11:42 PM
  #128
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Fair post 101.

The reason Gaustad and Nystrom are leading in points is because they scorer dirty goals. It isn't skill or goal-scoring ability. It is playing hard, in your face hockey.

Stalberg can't shoot.
Wilson is a playmaker.
Borque is more of a Nystrom type scorer than Hornqvist.
Hornqvist is a guy that does his work as a Holmstrom type; his shot velocity is too weak anywhere than up close.
Weber's shot has the most power but is inaccurate.
Smith is probably the only true offensive player that has the instincts/drive to score goals.
Legwand is a playmaker.
Fisher is a 2nd/3rd line tweener, not a goal scorer.
Ellis isn't trusted in scorer's role, and 2nd PP unit underutilizes his transition game (but Weber/Josi/Jones....what are you going to do).
Forsberg is in Milwuakee and will not play a meaningful role until he picks up the assignments in a dump/chase offense.
Legwand is a sneaky scorer but he has always been a complimentary player. Not a primary scorer.
Cullen is a PP guy, not an even strength scorer. He always has been.
Spaling is a third line grinder, despite the minutes he gets.
Clune - agitator.
Hendricks - PKer/minute eater.

What can you say .... We suck at ES goal scoring because we have 0 goal scorers and few players that are anything better than complimentary scorers (if that). We have competent hockey players and tweeners, but no elite offensive talent.
Looking at our roster ... Fisher is once again on pace for 20+ goals. Smith is on pace for that plateau as well. If we keep getting PP opportunities, Weber could reach that level too. Based on the usual 120-130 players scoring 20+ in any given season, we're not looking too horrendous in that respect. The bad thing is Hornqvist off pace after averaging over 24 in the three seasons before the lockout ... Stalberg, a one time 20+ scorer nowhere near on pace to reach that level ... Legwand off pace for his usual 18-20 goals ... our grinders are scoring ES goals while the allegedly better scorers struggle 5on5. It's easy to say that any player nets the goal scored by Gaustad against the Ducks but how often have our players had similar chances and either missed or tested the durability of the crest on the goalie's jersey? We didn't have elite offensive scorers when we were the top PP%, 10th in 5on5 goals, and 8th in overall goals ... but everybody filled their role. This season that isn't happening.

We have "grinders" doing their jobs every night. We don't have "scorers" showing up on a regular basis ... the goaltending is decent (not great) for backups but not starters ... the defense has repeated lapses that hang the inexperienced goalies out to dry. The perfect storm for a frustrating season.

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01-11-2014, 11:43 PM
  #129
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Originally Posted by Enoch View Post
You always need greasy goals and garbage goals. We have a few players willing to do that. You also have to have players able to create scoring lanes, to get into the slot at the right time, to have tape-to-tape passes, and to move the puck effectively in traffic.

The Predators struggle as a team with passing, getting players in shooting lanes, transitioning the puck, and generally being able to create offense at even strength.
Well said. We are lacking players that have that sort of skill set.

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01-11-2014, 11:48 PM
  #130
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Originally Posted by Russian Pred View Post
I hope we fire Trotz during or after this season. Team needs a new direction. Don't know who was instrumental in the decision making of signing Hutton ( instead of an experienced goalie) but those responsible should go too. Same goes for pretty much the rest of the summer's acquisitions. We could have gotten Grabovski to give us some offensive power but got other teams junk. If Poile was the one making all these decisions I say cut him loose too.
I remain doubtful that any of these firings are going to take place because either the team ownership doesn't know or care enough about hockey or they are just too nice of an organization. Even the Titans cut their coach twice already.
That was Mitch Korn .. the coach that helped develop Vokoun, get Mason to the point he could carry the team post fire sale, Ellis, Rinne, Lindback, and working with Maz and Hutton now (both of whom are above .900 sv% with even Hutton's sv% above Emery, Dubnyk, Lindback, Ward, and Pavelec so far this season).

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01-11-2014, 11:51 PM
  #131
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Originally Posted by 101st_fan View Post
That was Mitch Korn .. the coach that helped develop Vokoun, get Mason to the point he could carry the team post fire sale, Ellis, Rinne, Lindback, and working with Maz and Hutton now (both of whom are above .900 sv% with even Hutton's sv% above Emery, Dubnyk, Lindback, Ward, and Pavelec so far this season).
I have no idea if Mitch was behind Hutton, but I don't care if he was or not, for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT FIRE MITCH KORN.

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01-11-2014, 11:52 PM
  #132
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Korn didn't make the final decision: it was either Trotz or Poile. Korn thought Hutton was workable but the push to get someone like Hutton probably came from the top.

P. S. No one is advocating to fire Korn. What I was unsure about was whether the decision to "cheapen out" on a goalie came from Trotz, Poile or the owners (probably very unlikely).

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01-12-2014, 12:06 AM
  #133
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Originally Posted by Top 6 Spaling View Post
I have no idea if Mitch was behind Hutton, but I don't care if he was or not, for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT FIRE MITCH KORN.
It was admitted at the time of signing that Korn advocated for Hutton.

The Hutton case is similar to the repeated calls for trades ... usually viewed in a vacuum. Rinne was back and we were looking for a 10-15 game starter to give Peks a rest. The market was thin ... Ellis, Bachman, Theodore, McKenna, Labarbera, Bryzgalov, and Mason for the "experienced" group that hit the market. Hiller never hit the market even during the season when the need presented itself after Pekka's infection. It was a damned if we do, damned if we don't scenario ... a group of guys with coming off poor seasons or take a chance on a guy with good AHL numbers who looked ready to fill a backup role behind Rinne. None could fill Rinne's skates long term. Let's be honest ... if Rinne was on pace for 65-70 starts this season and his backup was .500 with an over .900 sv% there would be little complaining. That same goalie, or pair of goalies, hovering around .500 win% and just over .900sv% in a forced, long term starting role and there's a hunt for blood.

The same holds true in trade rants. We get upset when somebody posts garbage for Weber in a trade thread yet somehow expect a good return for our underperforming pieces. The goalie market wasn't good for us this summer ... the trade market really isn't good for us now unless somebody is suddenly willing to overpay.

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01-12-2014, 12:14 AM
  #134
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Can you link the article where Korn was advocating for Hutton. What I read about the decision making on Hutton via OTF article (I believe) was pretty vague. Mitch Korn may have seen something in Hutton but the final decision came from someone else. That same article mentioned Poile saying something a long the lines of how impressed Poile was with Hutton who stole some games in AHL playing against the Ads.

“We got to watch him many, many times. In the American Hockey League, it’s an unbalanced schedule and it seems like Milwaukee and Rockford play every other game. He kind of kept beating us and beating us and we’ve watched him a lot. He really moves the puck tremendously,” Poile said. “He’s a very exciting goalie to watch.”


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01-12-2014, 06:22 AM
  #135
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Originally Posted by 101st_fan View Post
That team was 10th in 5on5 goals scored. Again, the "never" hyperbole makes me laugh.

Glenn,
Hornqvist is a guy who scored over 20 goals per season for three consecutive seasons before last season and averaged above 20. Developing a top 6, a top 180 forward in the league, somehow doesn't include a guy in the top 120 in scoring for a stretch like that. We didn't develop Hartnell. Again, the word "never" fails to hold up.

Diva,
Fixing it requires going back to basics and playing what used to be Predators hockey. We need solid team defense for all 60 minutes. We need an aggressive forecheck that forces the other team to make mistakes. We need smart passes in our defensive zone and to stop the blind sweeps and reverses to nobody (Ekholm's blind reversal tonight leading to a goal ... Weber's blind sweep in neutral ice leading to a goal by the Ducks for recent examples). We need net presence in the offensive zone and a willingness to get dirty goals. This team routinely shows it can play against anyone ... beating the Wings and Kings ... followed by a series of brain farts where it gives games to the opposition (Hutton's soft goals, Ekholm's turnover tonight, Maz and Hutton both sucking for a week seeing who could get pulled more often in December, etc). When our leaders step up and the team keeps its collective head in the game for all 60 minutes, they play good hockey. When we experience the mental lapses, we get hammered for them.
Are Hornqvist or Hartnell guys that took over games, carried teams, made plays by themselves to get a goal? They're both very good players but they are not great players, certainly not elite. Have either of them scored over 60 for us in a season? No. Patrick Sharp is a perfect example of a great top 6 player. Not elite but as solid as they come. Mike Richards and Jeff Carter are another two that are great top 6 players. The fact that you can only come up with Hornqvist and Hartnell as your examples is pretty weak for a team that's been around 15 years any way you look at it.

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01-12-2014, 10:21 AM
  #136
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That is the point 101: 25 games where we have only scored 2 goals or less; 15 with 1 goal or less. That is HORRIFIC.

And while I hear you that the goals against are a problem, I point to our goalies, the terrible tandem of Hutton and Mazenac. There is not a worse pair in the entire league. Heck, neither of them would start for another team, and Hutton would not back up any team in the league.

You cannot win 2-1 games when your goalie is prone to giving up soft goals or back-breaking momentum changing goals against. Maz and Hutton have too many weak points (Hutton especially).

The one thing you hoped for with all of these signings this off-season was players being slotted into the appropriate role. This hasn't happened this year. Trotz has went back to his same antics of putting grinders on scoring lines and scorers on grinding lines in order to "balance" the scoring. Unfortunately, we do not have the even strength scorers that we had in years past. There isn't that true offensive talent that can carry a line anywhere in this offense.

11 of the first 26 games (Thanksgiving and earlier) saw the Preds get shutout or score only one goal .. they won 13 of those 26 in spite of scoring one or fewer goals in 42% of the games through that stretch. Since then, the team scored at least two goals in 75% of its games (not shutout, scored one on five occasions), yet won only six of twenty. We're getting more consistent scoring over the past 20 games (6, going on 7, weeks) but we're not getting the wins. This team lost four games when scoring 3+ .... three of them since Thanksgiving.

This team hasn't been able to win the low scoring games ... period. We depend upon the 3+ goal night to win ... a level that few teams in the league average in any season. It's a developing trend ... we were winless last season when scoring two goals, and pulled it off only twice so far this season. Good teams don't need a great scoring night for a chance to win ... they can compete in tight games. This year's Preds squad shows an inability to do that.

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01-12-2014, 10:39 AM
  #137
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Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post
Are Hornqvist or Hartnell guys that took over games, carried teams, made plays by themselves to get a goal? They're both very good players but they are not great players, certainly not elite. Have either of them scored over 60 for us in a season? No. Patrick Sharp is a perfect example of a great top 6 player. Not elite but as solid as they come. Mike Richards and Jeff Carter are another two that are great top 6 players. The fact that you can only come up with Hornqvist and Hartnell as your examples is pretty weak for a team that's been around 15 years any way you look at it.
You make the claim we don't develop top six players, then use top three criteria. Most full seasons see fewer than 60 NHL players finish with 60 points ... an average of less than two per team. Mid to upper 40 point scoring gets a player into the top 120 in an average season (four per team) ... a range where even Legwand and Erat routinely reside(d) along with Hartnell (as a Pred), Radulov, Hornqvist, quite possibly Smith this year.


So do you want to talk elite, top 60 in the league, or top 6? They are three very distinct groups. Or are you going to continue to ask about top 6 then redefine the term repeatedly?

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01-12-2014, 10:48 AM
  #138
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Originally Posted by Russian Pred View Post
Can you link the article where Korn was advocating for Hutton. What I read about the decision making on Hutton via OTF article (I believe) was pretty vague. Mitch Korn may have seen something in Hutton but the final decision came from someone else. That same article mentioned Poile saying something a long the lines of how impressed Poile was with Hutton who stole some games in AHL playing against the Ads.

We got to watch him many, many times. In the American Hockey League, its an unbalanced schedule and it seems like Milwaukee and Rockford play every other game. He kind of kept beating us and beating us and weve watched him a lot. He really moves the puck tremendously, Poile said. Hes a very exciting goalie to watch.
OTF as a source? May as well cite wikipedia.

http://predators.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=689321

Mitch Korn goes to Poile saying he'd found the guy for the backup role and explains why he advocated the way he did.

Quote:
Korn said the Predators flew Hutton in during the League's discussion period prior to the start of free agency last summer, and after Hutton's interview, he was sold. Korn said it was easy to convince coach Barry Trotz and general manager David Poile that Hutton was ready to play 15 to 25 games as Rinne's backup.

"Knock on wood we've had pretty good track records," said Korn, who has helped the organization develop Mike Dunham, Tomas Vokoun, Chris Mason, Dan Ellis and Rinne; in fact, only eight goaltenders ever have played for the Predators in their 15-year history. "Everybody's bought in pretty quickly. When we were looking for a second goalie, the (free agent) pool wasn't real deep. The majority of the pool were older guys whose best days were probably behind them and we made the decision based on what the results were last season that we didn't want to go in that direction if we could help it.


http://predators.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=676925

.... again Korn making the pitch to Trotz and Poile and based on years of performance, Korn's opinion holding quite a bit of sway when it comes to goalies.

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01-12-2014, 12:21 PM
  #139
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It wasn't from OTF but regardless the article quoted Poile gushing over him (Hutton). Poile and Trotz should have been better prepared for a possibility of Rinne either not fully recovering or getting injured, to have a backup plan with a better goalie(s) than what we have now. Goalie situation is just one of many issues this team has that Trotz and Poile are at the very least partly responsible for.

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01-12-2014, 12:26 PM
  #140
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Originally Posted by 101st_fan View Post
11 of the first 26 games (Thanksgiving and earlier) saw the Preds get shutout or score only one goal .. they won 13 of those 26 in spite of scoring one or fewer goals in 42% of the games through that stretch. Since then, the team scored at least two goals in 75% of its games (not shutout, scored one on five occasions), yet won only six of twenty. We're getting more consistent scoring over the past 20 games (6, going on 7, weeks) but we're not getting the wins. This team lost four games when scoring 3+ .... three of them since Thanksgiving.

This team hasn't been able to win the low scoring games ... period. We depend upon the 3+ goal night to win ... a level that few teams in the league average in any season. It's a developing trend ... we were winless last season when scoring two goals, and pulled it off only twice so far this season. Good teams don't need a great scoring night for a chance to win ... they can compete in tight games. This year's Preds squad shows an inability to do that.
Do you think this team is good? Your saying if we play better defense than improving our scoring we would be closer to a playoff spot? Trotz would you say is more of a defencive coach than offencive one? Then shouldn't this team be a better defencive team? What improvements would you make?

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01-12-2014, 01:22 PM
  #141
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You make the claim we don't develop top six players, then use top three criteria. Most full seasons see fewer than 60 NHL players finish with 60 points ... an average of less than two per team. Mid to upper 40 point scoring gets a player into the top 120 in an average season (four per team) ... a range where even Legwand and Erat routinely reside(d) along with Hartnell (as a Pred), Radulov, Hornqvist, quite possibly Smith this year.


So do you want to talk elite, top 60 in the league, or top 6? They are three very distinct groups. Or are you going to continue to ask about top 6 then redefine the term repeatedly?
I think what I wold then counter with is that yes, technically a "top 3" guy is someone in the top 90 scorers in the league, and therefore a top 6 guy is in the top 180. In reality, we know this is not quite the truth. Their are much less than 90 players that can carry an offense. What that true number is, I am not entirely sure. Maybe 1.5-2.5 per team. The reality to me is that the Predators have what, two players in the top 90 in scoring, but they are in the bottom dregs of that top 90 and are essentially tied with around 40-50 guys at the back of that 75-130 range of players. On top of that, they have less players overall in that scrum. So not only do the preds lack at top end talent, they have few players in the middle portion of the offensive scorers. They lack depth and top end talent in offensive production. Instead, the Predators are full of very effective role players, the tweeners that fit in the 150s-200s range of scoring. This isn't going to cut it when you have goalies that are letting in 1-2 soft goals every 30 shots.

Legwand/Fisher are top 6 players. They are also more of middle of the road top 6 players or tweeners. They aren't offensive dynamos. Neither have the ability to create offense on their own. Ditto the rest of the roster.

When we began our playoff run as a team, we brought in some players that could legitimately score. We had a Paul Kariya, Steve Sullivan, Jason Arnott, at times Forsberg/Radulov/Hartnell/Dumont. These guys were all offensively far more gifted than anyone that is currently playing on this roster. Truthfully, Wilson pre-shoulder injury last year was reaching the level of a go-to-guy. He is starting to refind his groove, but his game has shifted from the bull-headed offense guy to more conservative, playmaker, who is often found over-thinking his game.

I don't have answers. If I was at the helm, I think would burn off an incredible amount of assets trying to acquire 1 true offensively gifted player either via trade or FA. The Predators have no difficulty finding tweeners and depth. Look at some of the guys in the system - Beck, Watson, Sissons, etc are waiting for a chance on this roster.

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01-12-2014, 06:53 PM
  #142
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It wasn't from OTF but regardless the article quoted Poile gushing over him (Hutton). Poile and Trotz should have been better prepared for a possibility of Rinne either not fully recovering or getting injured, to have a backup plan with a better goalie(s) than what we have now. Goalie situation is just one of many issues this team has that Trotz and Poile are at the very least partly responsible for.
It's easy to say we should have gotten a better goalie or used a crystal ball to see Rinne would go down for a prolonged stretch. It's harder to realize there weren't a lot of options on the FA market between the pipes and for all of the talk about guys like Hiller moving, that hasn't happened on the trade market. None of the options were long term Rinne replacements.

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01-12-2014, 07:05 PM
  #143
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I think what I wold then counter with is that yes, technically a "top 3" guy is someone in the top 90 scorers in the league, and therefore a top 6 guy is in the top 180. In reality, we know this is not quite the truth. Their are much less than 90 players that can carry an offense. What that true number is, I am not entirely sure. Maybe 1.5-2.5 per team. The reality to me is that the Predators have what, two players in the top 90 in scoring, but they are in the bottom dregs of that top 90 and are essentially tied with around 40-50 guys at the back of that 75-130 range of players. On top of that, they have less players overall in that scrum. So not only do the preds lack at top end talent, they have few players in the middle portion of the offensive scorers. They lack depth and top end talent in offensive production. Instead, the Predators are full of very effective role players, the tweeners that fit in the 150s-200s range of scoring. This isn't going to cut it when you have goalies that are letting in 1-2 soft goals every 30 shots.

Legwand/Fisher are top 6 players. They are also more of middle of the road top 6 players or tweeners. They aren't offensive dynamos. Neither have the ability to create offense on their own. Ditto the rest of the roster.

When we began our playoff run as a team, we brought in some players that could legitimately score. We had a Paul Kariya, Steve Sullivan, Jason Arnott, at times Forsberg/Radulov/Hartnell/Dumont. These guys were all offensively far more gifted than anyone that is currently playing on this roster. Truthfully, Wilson pre-shoulder injury last year was reaching the level of a go-to-guy. He is starting to refind his groove, but his game has shifted from the bull-headed offense guy to more conservative, playmaker, who is often found over-thinking his game.

I don't have answers. If I was at the helm, I think would burn off an incredible amount of assets trying to acquire 1 true offensively gifted player either via trade or FA. The Predators have no difficulty finding tweeners and depth. Look at some of the guys in the system - Beck, Watson, Sissons, etc are waiting for a chance on this roster.
We run what would be a 1.5-2 line for the upper tier teams across the league as our top line. That admitted, any claim that we don't develop or have true top six talent requires a redefining of the term. We can usually fill a couple of second lines with the players we run as our #1 line. Wilson and Bourque both teased the fanbase with their start to last season and put up good numbers before injury. Wilson took a step back to start this season and Bourque is putting up his worst numbers as a Pred. Luckily Smith is stepping up of late and showing some of the scoring flair he normally reserves for the Worlds.

I can't explain why we haven't seen some of the kids from Milwaukee called up given the scoring woes and injured top nine guys this season. If you'd like to broach the subject with the front office, feel free. Maybe you'll get a better answer than I did.

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01-12-2014, 11:58 PM
  #144
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“We got to watch him many, many times. In the American Hockey League, it’s an unbalanced schedule and it seems like Milwaukee and Rockford play every other game. He kind of kept beating us and beating us and we’ve watched him a lot. He really moves the puck tremendously,” Poile said. “He’s a very exciting goalie to watch.”

Thus, making the future looking brilliant, ey?? If the guys in line to come to the big team can't score on Carter freaking Hutton.

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