Through the later part of this season Hartnell seems to have been looked to less and less as a go to guy. What's happened to cause this? I've seen him take a few bad penalties which have caused the odd benching, but is there something else going on?
Is he on his way out of Nashville or do you avid Pred's fans see him continuing to increase his role. What's your expectations of him as far as production and style of play?
I don't see a 23 year old with almost 25 goals being on his way "out." Trotz just likes to do headscratch stuff with his lines at times. Tootoo and Smithson often get time on the first line. It doesn't mean anything.
Hartnell has been one of the prime offenders this season when it comes to stupid penalties and because of his undisciplined behavior his ice time and line assignment has suffered. Hartnell has played anywhere from the 1st line this season to the 4th line.
I hope that this is simply a byproduct of Hartnell's relative young age, but I don't know. Hartnell has a good head on his shoulders and can certainly be a valuable member of this team, but he must prove that he can play smart hockey and stay out of the penalty box on a more consistent basis to earn playing time with the coaching staff.
IMO, the entire team has had a problem with penalties all season long, but Hartnell just seems to pickup the dumbest penalties at the worst times. I don't think he is out of the long term plans of the franchise though. Scotty will get more chances due to his age, skill level, and the fact he was a first-rounder. I suspect he will improve season by season, he just hasn't reached his potential yet.
Yet Kariya is allowed to waterski his way into hooking penalties almost every game, Timonen gets called for a lazy hold sometimes twice a game, and not a peep or demerit out of Trotz for either of the "vets."
It's a double-standard. I'll give you that. More importantly though Kariya and Timonen (even Sullivan) are looked upon as leaders on this club and yet they continue to reach with the stick and pickup penalties.
I don't know what the answer is, but it's gotta come from within the locker room...whether that means that Trotz, Peterson, and Horacek lose it and set a "zero-tolerance" policy on lazy penalties or whether the leaders in the dressing room (Vokoun, Johnson, Walker, Timonen, Sullivan, Kariya) step up and tell the guys to stop taking the lazy penalties AND then go out and set the example.
Whatever it is, it's gotta happen soon because we cannot be allowing 40+ shots a night come playoff time and expect Vokoun to not get worn down very quickly.
First, I've seen him criticzie our vets through the media.
Second, you guys have to realize that media people like John Glennon only print what they want to print. Trotz talks to the media for about 10 minutes after every game, yet there might be one or two sentences published. Also, they are given sheets and sheets of quotes from the Predators organization to work with. The final story is only a small sample of what's said after the game to the media.
Hartnell has taken a lot of penalties this year due to being overly aggressive/temper/passion....Kariya, Sullivan, and Kimmo have taken penalties because they have been lazy.
There is no reason for him to be on the fourth line. He is our best big man, and we have misused him for the past two seasons. We put him on the third line to play defense or fourth line to play energy, but never to score expect on the PP to act as a screen. Its silly but thats Trotz for you.