Peter Laviolette’s debut
I can still recall the unrest going into this season after seeing Barry Trotz leave the bench for the Predators.
As tough as it was, both parties knew it was time to go separate ways.
Today, hardcore Nashville fans may still be slightly upset with the success Trotz went on to have, winning a Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals, yet, seeing a brand new face behind the bench still brought a different level of excitement to Predators hockey.
Given his mixed track record, many were cautiously optimistic about Peter Laviolette coming on board, however, after leading Nashville to an impressive 5-0-2 start through the first seven games, supporters were hopeful in the new direction the team was going.
The 5-0-2 start would blossom into a 16-5-2 record in late November. The Predators cruised through the entire 2014-15 season before having another 2nd-place finish in the Central Division.
Overall, Laviolette employed a much more aggressive style that features high intensity and uses the additional speed to help create further scoring chances. This brand of hockey quickly found success for players such as Filip Forsberg, James Neal, and Colin Wilson.
In short, this was perhaps the deepest roster that the Predators put on the ice as six players managed to score 42 points or more; a list that did not feature talented players such as Neal and Mike Fisher.
In frustrating fashion though, the Predators would draw another tough first-round opponent in the Blackhawks. They would get their revenge the following year, but this talented Predators team would ultimately come up short of meeting expectations.
Will 2018-2019 serve differently? After one of the team’s best starts in Franchise history, we certainly expect it too.