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This Team Never Goes Away

from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,

After months of debating the three-team race in the Central Division among Detroit, Chicago and St. Louis, the men from the Music City have muscled their way into the conversation.

Well, that’s what 13 wins in your past 15 games can do for you, right?

“Right now, we’ve got really good team chemistry,” Preds coach Barry Trotz told ESPN.com on Wednesday. “Talk about a group that just comes to play. We’re getting great goaltending but, really, contributions throughout our lineup. ... Everyone is playing with a purpose.”

Trotz, in fact, credited the incredible competition in his division as a factor in his young team’s rise. He feels the standard is so high when playing against the Wings, Blues and Blackhawks that his team has no choice but to try to keep up.

His team feeds off those challenges. Much like the Preds look forward to a tough test Thursday night in Philadelphia in what is ESPN.com’s Game of the Week, teams separated by two points.

“Philly’s a really good measuring stick for what the league has to offer as a top team,” Trotz said. “There’s also a couple of ex-Predators on that team. We don’t play them a lot but they’re always good games.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

w2j2's avatar

You bet they never go away!
Poile is an excellent GM and an excellent judge of talent.  He does a great job in the draft.
Barry Trotz may be the best coach in the NHL.
They finally got the monkey off their back when their former owner left for Minnesota.  (Good luck, Wild fans!)
The Presds are consistently an excellent team, and we can look for greater results in the future.

Posted by w2j2 on 02/02/12 at 10:12 PM ET

Puck's avatar

LOL, the team never goes away? They’ve mostly never shown up. And when they did, they lost in the first round every time except last year beating the Ducks. Another couple seasons like that and they’ll be the new San Jose Sharks. All teeth, no bite.

Posted by Puck from San Francisco, CA on 02/02/12 at 10:27 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

He feels the standard is so high when playing against the Wings, Blues and Blackhawks that his team has no choice but to try to keep up.

And that kind of pressure will either make or break a young team in the long run – and let’s not forget that January isn’t March or April. I have nothing but respect for Barry Trotz. As w2j2 suggests, the guy has done more with less than any other coach in the league. But they haven’t proven a thing yet.

The Central Division, now and even more so after the restructuring, is the Gold Standard for the rest of the league (representing four of the top seven teams so far this year). If the Preds make it past the second round this spring, then everyone can get excited. Until then, they’re nothing more than the team that “goes away” after the first round almost every year.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 02/02/12 at 10:41 PM ET

SK77's avatar

They can get excited that they’re a relatively new team with great management, coaching, and community support. And on the whole they continue to get develop.

Everyone can get excited in that compared to other recent expansion teams, see the Thrashers & Blue Jackets, they’ve done very, very well.

And a bunch of Wings fans can continue to piss on everyone.

Posted by SK77 on 02/02/12 at 10:49 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

...a relatively new team with great management, coaching, and community support.

They’ve been around for 13 years. They’re well past even “relative” new team status. And if they really did have “community support,” they wouldn’t be a cash-strapped franchise that lines up at the “free money” trough every year taking handouts from successful teams like the Wings.

And a bunch of Wings fans can continue to piss on everyone.

When they stop taking the free money, we’ll stop pissing on them. smile

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 02/02/12 at 10:56 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Posted by OlderThanChelios on 02/02/12 at 07:56 PM ET

It’s all good, but you conveniently didn’t address my opinion on the two other “relatively” new teams I called out and what utter disasters those were.

Sure, the Predators might not be best team in the Central—and for that I’m grateful—but I still believe respect is due here.

Posted by SK77 on 02/02/12 at 11:03 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Sure, the Predators might not be best team in the Central—and for that I’m grateful—but I still believe respect is due here.

Posted by some kid on 02/02/12 at 08:03 PM ET

Respect is earned, not given.

Sorry, but one playoff series win in how many appearances?

Exactly.  The Minnesota Wild franchise is two years younger than the Preds, and they’ve been to a Conference Final.

Earned, not given.  I appreciate what Nashville has done to an extent, but I will not respect them as an opponent until they’ve earned it.  They are not any REAL threat in anyone’s mind, nor will they be until they stop operating on a hobo’s budget.

Posted by Primis on 02/02/12 at 11:42 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Sure, the Predators might not be best team in the Central—and for that I’m grateful—but I still believe respect is due here.

My respect is for the head coach, not for the organization. Barry has done a masterful job with what he’s been given. No head coach has done better. But the organization itself is a joke. And everyone will see that when Tick Tock signs Suter to a seven-year contract on July 1st.

But, hey, the Preds will still have the whistle-tooter in the stands for the next five years or so. Woo-hooo. How lucky can you get. smile

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 02/03/12 at 05:25 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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