Coaching: D- (Down from a D)
Honestly, I’m surprised this grade for the Nashville Predators isn’t lower. I think our writers have reasonably given John Hynes a little slack with all the injuries and rookies being put into the lineup. At the same time, let’s not act like the team, when healthy, was a bunch of world-beaters poised for a great run. The team possesses some talent, and history has shown as much (statistically), but this system does NOT seem to be getting the best from the team, and that’s on the coach(es).
The most frustrating aspect of the coaching’s effect on the game has been the issues that should be fixed by it. The offensive approach is predictable and unimaginative. The defense commits the same mistakes that should be worked on and corrected by this point in the season. The special teams may have marginally improved on the power play, but that’s really more due to the personnel than the system, and we don’t need to remind you how bad (literally the worst) the penalty kill is, but here we are.
On top of all the issues we can clearly see on the ice, there are the questionable lineup decisions that, from a common-sense standpoint, make no sense. Rocco Grimaldi is usually first to be scratched, though he provides an offensive spark the team often lacks. Lines are shuffled so often that I’ve heard reports Smoothie King plans to release a new line of John Hynes blenders (you heard it here first). In a season as short as this one will be, you have to think consistency is key. John Hynes and Co. seem to be going for the opposite of consistency, and it’s resulted in a team without an identity, somewhat a rudderless ship.
Time will tell if the aforementioned issues ultimately lead to a short tenure for the helmsmen, but stay tuned for something on that later this week (that’s what we in the biz call a “tease”).