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Trotz on Predators’ woes: ‘Some guys quite clearly can’t play at this level’

Mar 19, 2013, 11:39 PM EDT

Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz looks on prior to the start of the game against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on January 31, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
(January 30, 2013 - Source: Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Barry Trotz was blunt with his criticisms to the Tennessean regarding a struggling Nashville Predators team that fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 on Tuesday, extending their losing streak to four games.

” … Close but no cigar,” Trotz said. “You need 20 guys. Right now we’re a little shorthanded, guys are trying to stay in the league, some guys are trying to make the team, some guys are trying to make a difference.”

From the sound of things, some of those fringe players won’t earn a full-time NHL job.

“We have a good goaltender, we have to play good defensively. I know some guys are playing over their heads, some guys quite clearly can’t play at this level, that’s plain and simple, but we’re going to sort that out and go from there,” Trotz said. “Some guys, I’m not happy with their game, they have to give us more. And I can go top to bottom, there’s some guys in that locker room who can give us a lot more, and that’s the part that bothers me.”

Four losses in a row could seem like a hiccup, but things have been rough for more than a month. The Predators are now 4-10-1 since Feb. 16, leaving them in 13th place in the Western Conference.

(If that’s not bad enough, Ryan Suter and Minnesota Wild have been on a roll since the defenseman’s awkward homecoming. These are bad times for the Preds.)

  1. jacketsfan7 - Mar 19, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    I feel bad , if only the preds had a “jake Allen” like the blues do , with both teams starting and backup goalies not doing well , St. Louis has jake who’s been great while Nashville doesn’t have anyone , that’s why it’s always great to have a backup plan

    • gospitfires - Mar 19, 2013 at 11:56 PM

      Rinne leads the league in shutouts and has a GAA of 2.25, nashville is the 4th lowest scoring team in the league, seems to me they need to score some more goals. i think every NHL team outside of NYR, montreal, LA would have no problem putting Rinne out there every night.

      • thailer35 - Mar 20, 2013 at 10:36 AM

        I agree with everything you said up until LA. Quick has been struggling, and to me he’s never been on the same level as Rinne.

      • gospitfires - Mar 20, 2013 at 11:10 AM

        thailer 35- ya hes not having a great season, but LA is a playoff team and hes what 25 regular season games away from the best playoff goaltending performance i have seen in my 30 years of fandom, (1.45 GAA .946 save percentage, insane!) Id still take him on my team anyday

    • noisetheorem - Mar 20, 2013 at 9:42 AM

      Rinne is really the only player the Preds can rely on right now. Rinne could have the top save and GAA stats in the league, but if the offense isn’t producing then it’s exceptionally hard to win games.

  2. valoisvipers - Mar 20, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    Trotz sure isn’t a happy camper these days and well who could blame him?

  3. thehighcountrybear - Mar 20, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    So what does David Poile, finalist for the General Manager of the Year Award have to say about Trotz’s assessment of his handiwork?

    Relax: With the movie industry trending toward patriotic cum propaganda, Trotz should be able to find work as the dour if not mildly insane and stereotypical Russian head of the KGB.

    I’ve heard zee ghulag can be verrrrrry coldt at zisss time of yhear…

  4. tfaltin - Mar 20, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Paging Martin Erat. The former 60 point player Martin Erat? Legwand had 52(ish) points last year. Missing Colin Wilson and Hornqvist definitely hurts, but I can definitely see Trotz’ should be frustrated. Plucking Butler and Boychuk off the waiver wire were signs of desperation from the front office.

  5. lsxphotog - Mar 20, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    The Preds are an unfortunate situation. I honestly feel it’s a team in need of new ownership and/or a better GM. The owners have no trouble investing in the team’s appearance to the public, but isn’t willing to commit those funds to attract big-name players. The GM is also extremely hockey-sense challenged. The Suter and Weber debacle of last year should have never happened. You lock up your big guys and if you can’t get them to commit, you have another plan in place to pursue others. There was no backup plan to losing either one of them and they had to agree to the most ridiculous contract I’ve ever seen to keep Weber…now they have a ton of money invested into one player and no cash flow to bring in anybody else.

    So they have a weaker defense than last year – as a result, more pressure on Renne. They have much less offense than last year – as a result, small goal differential. The team needs to fill some holes.

  6. 1984tiger - Mar 20, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    He’s right. However, this is one of several “smoke and mirrors” franchises. Berry will never get the talent to truly make a Cup run. They’ll make the just enough noise to make the ticket buyers think they have a team that can play with the big boys in the larger markets ie Boston, Philly, Chicago, Toronto or Montreal. I expect he will eventually get tired of this merry-go-round and resign. He has shown he deserves better.

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