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Lack of Execution or Just Bad?

November 11, 2022, 8:23 PM ET [5 Comments]
Clay Brewer
Nashville Predators Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Per usual, I don’t like to judge this team, or any team for that matter, on a game-by-game basis, but rather through a period of performances or extended road trips.

In saying that, the Preds are returning from their 5-game stint out west and the results were less than stellar with the reality of play making them lucky to have escaped with any points at all.

The only thing that could have explained this road trip better would have been a trip to Arizona State to get walloped by the Coyotes at their college campus.

The trip ended with a 2-3 record with the three losses experiencing a period where four goals were given up. The two wins came against a struggling Flames team and a Canucks team putting on their best Preds impression by giving up a 3-goal lead to lose in a shootout.

The team now stands at 5-8-1 on the season for 11 points and 7th place in the Central division having played the most games at 14.

There’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been spoken about ad nauseum on numerous platforms. But I do disagree with some of the common themes that I have come across such as (1) this is a secret tank; and (2) the team is just bad.

Dimitri Filipovic’s podcast, The Hockey PDOcast, this morning had a good, although brief, discussion on the state of the Preds to which I agree with primarily. But it seems like many are coming to two primary conclusions: (1) the team is designed to secretly tank (No) and (2) the team is just not good (I still find this to be a no as well). There is still a ton of talent on this roster. But as Herb Brooks stated in the movie Miracle, “it’s not about the best players, but the right ones.” And above all, you need a team to fully buy into what the coaching staff is selling. The trend for Saros, Forsberg, Duchene, and Josi to all have career years under Hynes is no coincidence. He’s had early success with finding the potential in players early on in his tenure with a team. Taylor Halls’ MVP season with New Jersey is the often cited Hynes claim to fame on this notion. The lack of production from these four players, in particular, this season is a large factor in the slump that the Preds are currently in. Nino and McDonaugh were excellent additions, but they alone are not, and should have never been thought to be, the only change that was necessary in order to compete with the Colorados of the league.

In saying this, I’ll continue with what I discussed in my previous article. Change is needed, whether systematically or in coaching staff. Perhaps the peak has come and gone for Hynes, et al. as did Laviolette’s after the 2017 Cup run and 2018 President’s Trophy winning season to first round exit.

I’ll remain a believer in the idea that this team has the potential to be successful. But frankly, the current structure looks clueless. It’s as if coaching is simply throwing noodles at the wall and then closing their eyes that something sticks before they find themselves in the inevitable goals against rut during a period. I’m primarily frustrated because there remains to be no purpose or goal in sight. It’s one thing to be within a rebuild or to be competitive, but to maintain the status quo for 25 years (absent the one 2017 run) is infuriating as a die-hard fan.

I haven’t picked up the pitchfork yet, but it’s definitely out of the shed.

The performance on this long home stretch will sum up how this season will go. Eight of the next ten games are at home. This is the time to turn things around if there ever was a time. If the current trends continue beyond these ten games, then making no changes would be nothing less than a dereliction of duty.
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