Blog Entry

Barry Trotz: 'Our games started being optional'

Posted on: December 1, 2011 4:55 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 5:09 pm
trotz1By: Adam Gretz

The Nashville Predators are fighting through a rough stretch right now, having lost five of their past six games and head into Vancouver on Thursday night to play the suddenly streaking Canucks, winners of five straight and eight of their past 10. Two trains that are, for the time being, headed in completely opposite directions.

Barry Trotz, the only coach the Predators have ever known, sounds as if he's starting to become a bit frustrated with his team's work ethic and had some strong words on Thursday afternoon for why their team skates are no longer optional.

Said Trotz, via Jim Jamieson of the Vancouver Province, “Our skates aren't optional anymore because our games started being optional.”

Under his watch the Predators have always been a team that's been praised for their work ethic, discipline and defensive structure. Through their first 24 games this season they've been out-shot 18 times and are giving up over 32 shots per game, the third-worst mark in the NHL, better than only Dallas and Phoenix. An obvious drop from recent years when the Predators have usually finished the season in the top-half of the league in terms of shots allowed.

The additional shots and chances are obvously creating more work for goaltender Pekka Rinne. A lot more, actually. Especially when you add in the fact he's started nearly every game the Predators have played this year.

The team has been riding Rinne all season and relying on him more than any other goaltending in the NHL. He's started 22 of the team's 24 games, and if is asked to continue at this pace would face one of the heaviest workloads of any goaltender over the past three decades.

He's been great, and they've needed him to be, because the offense has struggled, entering Thursday's game 18th in the NHL in goals-per-game, and having scored just 10 goals over the past six games.

Photo: Getty Images

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Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: December 1, 2011 5:51 pm

Barry Trotz: 'Our games started being optional'

Yet another negative comment about or player in Nashville, he ripped a rookie publically earlier this year, acted pretty ticked about the Smith miss of the empty net, etc.    Too many comments ripping the team in public whether it's saying that the team thinks games are optional or if he's thanking an opposing coach for not playing their top lines the last 10 minutes of a game, a coach can't contiunually rip on professionals like they're in the juniors publically.   He'll lose the team soon.   He's been there for a long time, and he's gone off publically plenty of times, but with all the stress surrounding the team in regards to Weber, Rinne, and Suter, these kind of comments have to stop, they only work so many times within a year or so many times at all.  

He's one of my favorite coaches in the league, but he has some players that are bigger than he is now.     Poile's not going to have a choice if more than one of them get sick of their coach and the team struggles to find consistency.    This will be an interesting thing to watch the next few months.   I don't think it's a good thing for Nashville.   They go through one of these about once a year the last few, but this is twice already.

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