The Predators lost their fifth game in eight tries Tuesday night, falling 3-0 to the Blues in St. Louis. And despite the fact six of those eight games came on the road, mostly against strong competition, some are starting to wonder if all the recent personnel moves have negatively affected Nashville’s renowned team chemistry.
Since Feb. 17, the Preds have added Hal Gill, Paul Gaustad, Andrei Kostitsyn and Alexander Radulov to the roster. Meanwhile, others have been shifted around to make room for the new additions.
But while coach Barry Trotz thinks there’s something to the chemistry theory, he also believes it’s better than the alternative.
“Our team was very, very young and we played a certain way and we had a pretty good chemistry before the trading deadline,” Trotz said, as per The Tennessean. “But we weren’t structured to having a chance to do anything in the playoffs. We needed to add some pieces and (general manager) David Poile and our ownership went out and found all those things that we needed.”
Trotz added: “When you have new players come in there is an adjustment period, and sometimes the adjustment period is good and things fall into place; other times it takes a little bit.”
The Preds are in Detroit tomorrow to play the Red Wings, a team they’re very likely to face in the first round. And with just five games left in the season, time’s running out to finalize everyone’s roles before their most important playoff appearance in franchise history.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: