All due respect to Trotz, Preds are playing some entertaining hockey

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It was understandable that Shea Weber didn’t want to answer the question. With Barry Trotz still held in high esteem in Nashville, the captain of the Predators wasn’t about to suggest that things are so much more fun now that there’s a new coach behind the bench.

“Honestly, I don’t want to get into comparing,” Weber said Sunday when asked if the style of hockey the Preds are playing under Peter Laviolette was more “enjoyable” than it was under Trotz.

“I’m not going to say it’s more enjoyable or not. Obviously, it’s been pretty successful for our team this year. We’re just going to keep doing what we’re told.”

Weber deftly ducked the question after Nashville had improved its record to 7-2-2 with a 3-1 win over the Canucks in Vancouver.

At the very least, he admitted that things were different this season.

“We’re playing an aggressive style,” he said. “We’re really trying to play forward.”

The Preds still aren’t scoring a ton, and they’re still solid defensively. Just like under Trotz. But Sunday’s game featured the kind of back-and-forth, entertaining action that Nashville GM David Poile had hoped to see when he hired Laviolette.

It sure helps that Pekka Rinne has been back to his old self in goal, and that newcomers James Neal and Mike Ribeiro, along with rookie-of-the-year candidate Filip Forsberg, have developed chemistry as a first line.

And while some observers remain skeptical, pointing to Nashville’s NHL-high PDO (a statistic that, essentially, measures luck), the Preds are leaving their opponents impressed.

“They have a deep lineup with a lot of threats on different lines,” Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said. “You have to be focused every time you’re on the ice.”