Grumpy types and hyper-literal people don’t enjoy abstract analogies, but the rest of us gain better understanding by comparing teams in different sports. For that reason, the “Moneyball” Oakland A’s and Nashville Predators seem like a logical match – especially after the Preds finally won a playoff round in 2011.
However you frame the discussion, GM David Poile and head coach Barry Trotz have built something special in a non-traditional market, as tonight’s action clinched a playoff berth for the Predators. Joshua Cooper captures the significance of the feat: Nashville has made the playoffs in seven out of eight seasons despite being a low-budget team.
It’s hard not to be snarky about the Predators reaching this goal on a night of inactivity, but if nothing else, it shows what separates Nashville from up-and-down teams. While other inconsistent West teams struggle thanks to the high and low points of their stars and coaches, Poile and Trotz’s squads display an almost-robotic consistency that makes them a near-shoo-in for the postseason.
That’s not to say it’s easy by any means, yet that’s part of what makes Nashville’s work so impressive.