1. How's life without Barry Trotz?
We’re getting on, I suppose. The atmosphere seems different around here without him. The word is that the pace of practice is faster and the messages by the coaching staff seem clearer. That being said, Barry Trotz will always be an important figure for this town. The man anchored a hapless team of misfits and unwanted free agents for a number of crucial years for the franchise, surviving long enough to make several impressive postseason runs. We wish him well in Washington, but it was time to make some sort of change and Lavy seems to be a perfect fit for us.
2. Mike Ribeiro had personal issues recently, and most teams passed on him in free agency. What do you think of his play?
The Mike Ribeiro acquisition may end up being the best free agent of the summer for us… and quite a steal at just over $1 million. On the top line with James Neal and Filip Forsberg, his passing compliments Neal’s shooting and Forsberg’s skill quite nicely. His possession numbers are higher than they’ve been for him in the recent history: 53.3% 5v5 Corsi through 10 games. And while that will most likely regress to his mean (right around 50%) over the course of 82 games, there isn’t much to complain about with Mike Ribeiro. Yet.
3. If Jim Benning offered you Tom Sestito, Jacob Markstrom and 3 first round picks (edit: FOR SHEA WEBER) would you make the trade? Why not? (Edit: I meant to say that this trade was for Shea Weber, but the alcohol clouded my typing skills/thought process. I emailed the edited question to Alex earlier tonight but the country-singing Jesus Freaks go to bed early it seems! Just kidding, Alex!)
It’s tempting, but no. We are pretty stockpiled with young talent right now. Forsberg, Jarnkrok, Beck, Sissons, Fiala, and Aberg all seem like prospects that will work out, so the draft may not be the highest priority for these Nashville Predators. Taking on a $1.2 million dollar sandbag in exchange for a some top picks and a rejuvenating youth movement would have been welcome a few years ago. But for now, we will let you hold on to that Markstrom contract. I should point out that David Poile is a tough nut to crack sometimes… email him, he will probably consider it.
Got the reply! Thanks Alex:
4. What are the Preds' weaknesses at this point?
Without a doubt, the power-play. With only 3 goals out of 28 chances (10.7%), our bumbling, reckless, "cant-get-out-of-our-own-way" power-play is just the worst. Our zone entries are rarely effective. Our passes are obvious and too deliberate. More than that, the players seem nervous and rushed with the man advantage. Nothing is crisp or well-timed. We only have a few players (James Neal and Shea Weber, for example) that seem interested in trying to score on the power-play. The rest of them seem determined to send the puck through the glass, I guess to try and wake up the dozing fans who fell asleep when they heard the Predators were on the power-play.
A big thanks to Alex for taking time to answer my questions. He asked me a few questions as well. I'm sure they will be in a Predators' game preview tomorrow at On The Forecheck.