3-10-14: Nashville has lost four straight games and seven of their last eight. The return of Pekka Rinne is good, but not enough to save this disaster. GM David Polie did the unthinkable and traded away David Legwand to Detroit for prospects. Legwand was the first player the Predators ever selected in their franchise history. With Legwand gone, Coach Barry Trotz could be next to go. Trotz has been the only coach in Nashville’s history and could be time for some new blood.
3-3-14: The Preds rallied to beat the Lightning last week but followed that win with a tough loss to the Jets. If they're going to push for the playoffs, they need to get it going quickly. I’ve said it for the last three weeks or so, but what are the Predators going to with center David Legwand? He’s an original Nashville Predator who is a UFA at season’s end. Do the Predators let him walk at the end of the year? They should try trading him for assets.
2-10-14: The Preds enter the Olympic break with a three-game losing streak. That is softened a bit by the fact that Nashville picked up a point in two of the losses. What to do with David Legwand? He’s going to be free agent at year’s end and the Predators are not making the playoffs this year. Do they trade him for assets at the deadline? Or do they wait in hopes of re-signing him in the offseason? It’s a tough decision for GM David Polie.
2-3-14: It would be easier to get excited about Nashville's recent run of three games that includes two wins and an overtime loss to the powerhouse Blues. However, it was preceded by consecutive losses to Calgary and Edmonton. Not the exactly what you want to see. There are two questions I have about Nashville? Will they trade impending UFA David Legwand? Will Barry Trotz get fired? Legwand will be a surefire hot commodity at the deadline and the Preds would be wise to explore options of trading him. Trotz has been the only coach in the team’s history, but I think it’s time for some new blood.
1-27-14: Nashville has lost two straight games after their 4-1 loss to the lowly Oilers this past Sunday, and has lost 11 of 16 games played this month. General manager David Poile has already started adjusting his roster, unloading Kevin Klein and Matt Hendricks in recent trades. Eric Nystrom scored four goals in a loss to the Flames this past week. He's the second player to suffer that fate this season, as the Lightning's Martin St. Louis scored four times in a loss to San Jose.
1-20-14: Nashville won two out of three games this past week. The Predators are bunched together with Dallas and Winnipeg in the West. The three teams have a significant lead on the Western bottom-feeders but they all sit way back of the wild-card spots. Devan Dubnyk's Predators career got off to a rocky start. The veteran goalie played his first game on Saturday after being acquired in trade and allowed five goals on 29 shots in a loss to Colorado.
1-13-14: The Predators are 1-3-3 in their past seven games, with the one impressive victory at home against the Sharks. Pekka Rinne is still rehabbing from his hip infection, the Predators are heading in the wrong direction. With no timetable on Rinne's return, things are looking bleak in Nashville. Nashville could be sellers at the trade deadline. The Predators are 1-of-12 on the power play in seven January games.
1-7-14: The Preds have lost three consecutive games and eight of its last 10 played. If Nashville had as many wins as losses over their last 10 they would be one-point back of the final wild-card spot in the West. However, they are seven points out and stuck with Winnipeg as a team outside the playoff picture. Seth Jones' November killed his Olympic and Calder Trophy hopes. In 13 games prior he had six points and an even rating, and in 16 games since he has seven points and is minus-one. In November, he went minus-10 with just three points in 14 games.
12-30-13: Nashville is 4-5-1 in their last games and hasn’t really gotten their groove this season. The Preds have six prospects playing in the WJC. Zach Stephan USA, Flip Forsberg Sweden, Saku Maenalanen Norway, Juuse Saro Finland, and Mikko Vainonen Finland. Barry Trotz has been the only coach in the history of the Predators organization and many wonder if this could be his last season behind the bench. It would be wise for Nashville to endure a change at coach.
12-23-13: The Preds have dropped three in a row and word 'Jekyll and Hyde' describes Nashville's season to date. The team's most recent stretches include the following: Three straight losses currently, three consecutive wins, five losses in a row, five wins in six games and being out-scored 17-2 in four losses AHL goalie Marek Mazanec went 5-4-1 with a .932 save percentage in November. This month he's 0-3-0 with a .854 save percentage. Barry Trotz’ time could be running out.
12-16-13: Last week was an excellent week for the Predators. They entered the week with five straight losses but came away with wins against the Rangers, Stars and Sharks. Despite their nice run of play last week, the Preds are still a long way away from a playoff spot in the West. The fact they are in the brutally tough Central Division does them no favor. Goalie Carter Hutton won all three games last week and allowed only four goals in the victories. In his previous three starts he allowed a total of 14 goals.
12-9-13: The Predators have been in a funk as of late. With losses to Vancouver, Carolina and Washington last week Nashville is now riding a five-game losing streak. Marek Mazanec has provided the Preds with solid goaltending in place of injured starter Pekka Rinne. Mazanec still has a respectable .915 save percentage on the season but his play slipped a little last week as he allowed 12 goals in three games and posted a subpar .848 save percentage in the three losses.
12-2-13: The Predators has a decent past week earning five out of a possible eight points. The play of rookie defenseman Seth Jones was a bright spot for Nashville early this season. However, his numbers have not been good as of late. In 14 November games, Jones managed only three points and went minus-10, which is enough to drop him to last among Predators skaters in that category. Jones will need to have a strong December if he wants to be considered for Team USA at the Sochi Olympics.
11-25-13: The Predators can never seem to find any kind of groove this season. They win a few games, and then lose a few games. Nashville had a winning record this week going 2-1 overall, picking up wins over Detroit and Toronto. Their only loss came against the Rangers in a 2-0 shutout. David Legwand, who was Nashville’s first ever draft pick in 1998, leads the team in points with 14. Barry Trotz’ preaches sound defense and good goaltending. The pairing of Shea Weber and Seth Jones has been one of the best duos in the NHL this season.
11-18-13: The Predators lost two out of three games last week. They lost to the Islanders and Penguins by a combined score of 7-2. However, in their lone win they destroyed the Blackhawks 7-2. Unlike Calgary, the Predators are the best team in the NHL on face offs. Nashville is clicking at 55.1 percent. Paul Gaustad has 61.3 percent efficiency on draws. The Predators have the fewest goals for in the entire Western Conference with 46.
11-12-13: The Predators started off the week well by beating the Avalanche in Denver, but that quickly faded as they dropped a pair of 5-0 contests to the lowly Jets and and Devils. Viktor Stalberg was signed in the offseason to bolster Nashville’s forward depth. So far, Stalberg has been a bust managing only two points in 11 games played. The only positive sign for Nashville right now is Seth Jones is the early favorite to take home the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie.
11-5-13: The Preds had a 3-0 first period lead of the Coyotes, but blew that lead as Phoenix scored four times and eventually lost in the shootout. Carter Hutton stopped 35 saves on 38 shots against the Kings on Saturday for a 4-3 win. In one goal games, Nashville is fourth in the NHL with a .750 win percentage and a 6-0-2 record overall. David Legwand continues to score for the Preds as he now has four goals, eight assists, for 12 points on the season.
10-29-13: The Predators have only one win in their last three games and have now slipped out a playoff spot. Star goalie Pekka Rinne is expected to miss over a month with a very serious bacteria infection. Carter Hutton had a 34-save performance in their overtime victory over the Jets but he won’t be able to keep that up night in and night out. Hutton has only played five NHL games. If Rinne is out any longer than expected, look for the Preds to make a move.
10-21-13: After a slow start, Nashville has regained form. The Preds are on a 4-0-1 and Seth Jones scored his second career goal last Saturday in Montreal. They are relying heavily on the 19-year old rearguard that is averaging an astounding 27:22 seconds of ice time over his last three games. Defense and goaltending are never the issue in the Music City. The problem is the offensive production. The Predators have never had a star forward play for their club in their prime.
10-14-13: To put it nicely, the Nashville Predators simply do not score. The Preds have scored a grand total of nine goals in their first five games. This team has to start playing better or head coach Barry Trotz may take the fall. Nashville needs to start getting more shots on net and players in front of the goaltender. Rookie Seth Jones has been a rock. He’s averaging over 23 minutes of ice time, which is almost unheard of for a rookie defender.
10-7-13: It’s safe to say Nashville has not looked good in their first two games. They have had subpar goaltending and no offense whatsoever. The one bright spot is rookie defenseman Seth Jones has looked poised in his first two starts. Coach Barry Trotz has showed faith in Jones by putting him in all situations on the ice.
9-4-13: After missing the playoffs for the first time in four seasons, GM, David Poile, admits that his roster needs an update. The Predators managed the fewest goals per game average (2.27), thus, the additions of Matt Cullen, Matt Hendricks and, Stanley Cup-winning, Viktor Stalberg, will bolster their offense. Pekka Rinne is Nashville’s number one and is looking to have a bounce-back season after posting a .910 save percentage, a season ago. The bench boss remains unchanged since the Predators inception in 1998 but the addition of Hall of Famer and U.S U-18 Gold Medal Coach, Phil Housley, to the coaching staff will further instill championship idealism and defensive discipline to a team who ranked 29th in penalty kill last season.
Barring a non-cohesive team, there is little doubt that the Nashville Predators will not return to playoff form and impose a major threat to Central Division team’s success. The Chicago Blackhawks look to run the division, but a revamped Predators team, could turn the Blackhawks in to dust, in the windy city.
8-3-13: The Predators have signed defenseman Bryan Rodney to a one-year, two-way contract worth $550,000 at the NHL level and $120,000 at the AHL level.
Predators 2013 NHL Draft Summary
Pick #4: Seth Jones, D
Pick #64: Jonathan-Ismael Diaby, D
Pick #95: Felix Girard, C
Pick #99: Juuse Saros, G
Pick #125: Saku Maenalanen, RW
Pick #140: Teemu Kivihalme, D
Pick #155: Emil Pettersson, C
Pick #185: Wade Murphy, RW
Pick #203: Janne Juvonen, G