Nashville Predators: Lineup Shuffling Was Expected, But Not This Early

Nashville Predators center Cody Glass (8) Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Nashville Predators center Cody Glass (8) Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

The rearranging of the deck chairs so to speak for the Nashville Predators was something I was prepared for this season, but not after just two games into the season.

In a season tagged as a “competitive rebuild” and a “retooling”, I just can’t wrap my head around the early push to move developing players out of the lineup so soon.

Missing the playoffs or flirting with last place will be much more infuriating to deal with if the Nashville Predators stunt the development of their younger players who are supposed to be the future of this team.

The upcoming schedule offers not really any relief in terms of the Predators being favorites, so this could get a lot uglier if the lineup continues to go through changes and can’t build any chemistry.

Nashville Predators struggling to find the right lineup

Cody Glass, who was part of the return in the Ryan Ellis trade, has already been sent down to the Milwaukee Admirals after two games where he made very little impact, per

In return, Tommy Novak has gotten the call-up to the NHL level. He’s a 2015 draft pick by the Predators, but has yet to make his NHL debut. He had a very impressive preseason and training camp, so it’s nice to see him get rewarded with a possible NHL opportunity.

However, I’m still not sold on sending Glass down so quickly after just two games considering he was supposed to be such an important piece to the youthful rebuild. Sorry, but I just can’t make sense of it.

The Nashville Predators are off to a predictable rough start to their 2021-22 campaign, suffering two losses in games against the Seattle Kraken and Carolina Hurricanes. Two teams expected by many to make the playoffs.

The frustrating part about both losses is the Predators were their own worst enemy, especially in the loss to the Kraken. Also, in both losses the Predators were searching for the equalizer after giving up an empty net goal.

Stick with the original plan

Adding onto the frustration of these lineup decisions from Head Coach John Hynes is the benching of Philip Tomasino after just one start. Tomasino got 10:34 of ice time in the season-opener against Seattle and tallied one shot on goal.

Rocco Grimaldi came into the lineup over Tomasino against Carolina and managed just 9:19 of ice time. So explain to me again why Grimaldi got a starting spot over your up-and-coming rookie only to get just over nine minutes of ice time? Makes zero logic.

Going into the season one of my keys to getting off to a good start was for Hynes to quickly find a roster he likes and give it time to develop. Instead, it seems we’re once again stuck in this line blender, which will be detrimental to the younger players who need time to get comfortable and build that confidence.

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Just go back to last season and see how the youth movement actually propelled the Predators in their playoff push with players like Tanner Jeannot, Mathieu Olivier, Yakov Trenin and Alexandre Carrier.

Stick with the plan, Coach Hynes. It’s two games of 82, and two games where the team didn’t play their best and still nearly tied it late against high quality teams.