10th in the West.
Is this what you expected? Better than you expected? or worse?
For me, its what I expected. This team has a solid first line, a strong 1st d-man pairing and good goalie, who will try to erase the Predator curse of goaltenders in their 1st season of full time duty acting as sitting ducks on ice. This team has depth on defense in terms of players who eventually will be solid d-men but not right now. What they lost on defense to Free Agency will be the difference between last year and this year. Its such a gaping hole and it seems that very few are seeing it. This is probably because of all the attention that most Pred fans direct theirs to, its obtaining a top 6 forward. Moreover, every game against divisional opponents will be just as hard to win this year than last year. I don't want to be the pessimist here but I think its safe to say that this will be a season full of challenges for the Nashville Predators.
Here is the reasoning that The Hockey News gave: "After four-straight post-season appearances from 2004 to 2008, the Preds are finding out that good coaching and a shoestring budget no longer cut it in the ultra-competitive West. Nashville has an all-star caliber goalie and a young, skilled, bruising D-corps. But with no scoring stars up front, the Preds are destined to fall short of the playoffs."
My last blog, which was written what seems like ages ago, featured me predicting that Trotz and Poile would be gone before the 2010/11 season began. While I do feel that both have done an impeccable job in getting this team to where we're at right now, for 2 full seasons now, I have felt that this team needs a tandem to take this team to the next level. A coach with legitimate and lengthy playoff experience. A GM who isn't afraid to make a deal when in a position of having depth. THN is right. The days of feasting on weak divisional opponents are over and the days of relying on coaching to win games (as opposed to the players on the ice giving a consistently strong effort every night) might as well be over too.
There's a saying that goes like this: "If you always do what you've always done. You'll always get what you've always gotten."