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Positions in review - Coaching

May 15, 2019, 9:44 AM ET [12 Comments]
Paul McCann
Nashville Predators Blogger •Predators Radio Network • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Join us for SlapShot Radio tonight at 6pm as we go Down on the Farm for the last time this season, brought to you by the Patrick J. Brown Agency of Farmers Insurance, with Milwaukee Admiral’s GM Scott Nichol and we get a rumor update from the King of NHL Rumors, Eklund… SlapShot Radio is on at 6pm and we are taking you right up to 102.5 the Game’s coverage of game three of the St. Louis / San Jose series that will drop the puck right after SSR.

Now… on to today’s review of the Nashville coaching and special teams in 2018/19…

The Predators coaching staff consists of a head coach in Peter Laviolette that has won a Stanley Cup with Carolina, a long-time assistant that has been with him for years in Kevin McCarthy and a relative newcomer in Dan Muse. Laviolette and McCarthy will be starting their sixth season with the team in the upcoming year. Laviolette has coached more games in Nashville than any of his three previous stops as head coach with the Islanders, Hurricanes and Flyers. The lazy take on Peter Laviolette is that he has a “short shelf life” and that his intense style and fiery personality wears on a team and tends to have them tune out his message. That may have been true in previous stops, but his tenure in Nashville has shown a coach willing to adapt and change… don’t get me wrong, the fire burns in this coach, but you have to admit… I couldn’t see Peter Laviolette doing a post-game presser in a bull head when he was with Carolina or Philly like he did early this past season to pay off a challenge to his players.

You really can’t look at this coaching staff without adding in the epic failure of the power play this past season. It was extensively addressed in the Laviolette’s post season presser as he gave a detailed accounting of how the coaching staff tried to address the issue in one of the longest answers I have ever heard him make to a reporter’s question. A five minute plus soliloquy that laid out in painstaking detail the efforts made. You could see the frustration as the coach took the accountability for the failure.

I asked in an earlier blog if the coach’s system was matching the players on the team. I am concerned that the team, in an effort to get bigger and more physical to compete with Winnipeg, has lost some of the speed necessary to play Laviolette’s system to the hilt. I am concerned that the defensive schemes, that “high-risk/high-reward” style, puck management… all the little details of Laviolette’s system that were missing in 18/19 will need to be refocused on come training camp in September. It is a daunting task...

You keep hearing the phrase “team identity” coming up in interviews and analysis of the past season… it is something that the Predators need to re-discover if they hope to be in the hunt for the Cup next spring.

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The Playoff Status section
The Eastern Conference Final
Boston vs. Carolina – BOS leads 3-0 – Game 4 – Tomorrow – 7pm CDT NBCSN

The Western Conference
San Jose vs. St. Louis – Series tied 1-1 – Game 3 – Tonight – 7pm CDT NBCSN

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Random Notes

- Party! – Preparations are underway for a Smashville Celebration this Saturday from Noon – 4pm at Bridgestone Arena. Complementary lunch from Delaware North, skating on Friday night, paint the ice on Saturday, player appearances, locker room tours and a lot more… Nashvillepredators.com has all the info.

- Worlds update – The 1-1-1 Team USA takes on Great Britain today at the Worlds. The team is ranked 3rd in the latest power rankings for the tournament, behind Russia and Finland. Today’s game is a real chance to close the goal differential gap. The Brits have given up 20 goals in 3 games so far.

- Pred Look – Going into today’s play, Kyle Turris has 2 goals and 3 assists in 3 games. Dante Fabbro has a goal in his 3 games and is running a +5. Yannick Weber is a +5 for the Swiss, Roman JOsi has a goal and 2 assists, posting a +6. Mattias Ekholm is a +2 for Sweden

- Audition? – After a difficult season in Toronto, William Nylander is tearing it up at the Worlds… 2goals, 6 asiists for 8 point lead all scorers in the tournament.

- Midnight – Carolina threw their best punch last night, but Boston still wins to go up 3-0 in the Eastern Final… the only hope left is that Boston does have a habit of blowing 3 game leads…

- Asteroid Series? – If it ends up being St. Louis vs. Boston in the Final, I will be rooting for the asteroid.

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