May 9, 2012, 11:04 AM EDT
To hear Barry Trotz tell it, the story of Nashville’s season went bad, good…then disappointing.
“The first 20 games, we were not a good hockey team,” Trotz told The Tennessean. “We were real young in some areas. We weren’t very detailed; we didn’t know how to win.
“And then we became a real good hockey team. And then, at the appropriate time, the ownership stepped up and added some pieces that we thought would be necessary to go deep into the playoffs.”
And then? For the second straight year, the team was bounced in the second round — this time by an upstart Phoenix club that seemed to out-Predator the Predators.
“We couldn’t solve the riddle of Mike Smith and the Coyotes’ defense,” Trotz explained. “In the first couple of games, it was our defense, or lack of, that prevented us from winning. Stealing Game 1 [4-3 in overtime] the way they did really gave them a lot of confidence.”
Trotz didn’t put much credence in the idea that suspensions to Alex Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn derailed his club, though numbers suggest they played a part. The Preds only managed to score three goals over the final three games of the series (after scoring six in the first two) — a stretch that coincided with Radulov and Kostitsyn being banished for Games 3 and 4.
By the time Game 5 rolled around, the two were out of synch, combining for just three shots on goal in the elimination contest.
That said, Trotz believed his team had enough depth not just to overcome the Radulov/Kostitsyn fiasco, but also to beat the Coyotes and make a deep playoff run.
“This was a team that had all the depth,” Trotz said. “Whereas in the past we had some talented teams, but we didn’t quite have the depth at certain areas or enough experience in certain areas.
“This team had pretty good balance all the way through.”
- Flyers’ Timonen admits chances of playing are ‘really slim’ 0
- Desjardins (a.k.a. not Torts) makes good first impression on Canucks 16
- Leafs deny rift between Kessel and coaching staff 8
- Injured Crosby, Malkin will miss start of Pens’ camp 8
- Selanne rips Boudreau in book 17
- Just how damaging are heated negotiations between Jackets, RFA Johansen? 31
- Panthers owners say they’re committed even though team has lost ‘tremendous amounts of money’ 11
- Update: Wild’s Harding out indefinitely with fractured foot 20
- Johansen heads home from Columbus as talks get even messier 23
- Kesler accuses Vancouver media of making up stories, ‘throwing people under the bus’ 25
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands (61)
- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman (56)
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal (54)
- Will the NHL publicize divers? (48)
- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)