With the Nashville Predators now down 2-0 in their series against the Phoenix Coyotes, head coach Barry Trotz has a lot of questions to answer. One thing he didn’t do was throw big-money goalie Pekka Rinne under the bus, as he mostly excused him from the blame game according to Dennis Bernstein.
“He’s been OK but the team in front of him hasn’t,” Trotz said. “Our defensive core has been real light – people staring at the puck and not taking anyone.”
“Too many guys didn’t bring their A game,” Trotz said. “We’re not detailed enough as we were in (the Detroit) series.”
It’s weird to think that a Predators team might “believe their press clippings,” but perhaps Nashville is taking the Coyotes a little too lightly. (Or maybe Phoenix is a lot better than most people realized.)
Trotz’s criticism of the team-wide game makes a lot of sense for a variety of reasons, but the Predators’ 5-on-5 play is the most glaring area of worry. Nashville scored on both of its power plays and killed both Coyotes man advantages, which means that the team was a -4 in even strength play in Game 2.
Those are the kind of simple numbers that will give defense-minded coaches like Trotz indigestion and it’s obvious that the Predators need to find some relief – fast.