Paul M. Banks has an exclusive chat with Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz
Last season the Chicago Blackhawks missed the postseason by a measly three points, one of the main roadblocks standing in their way to finally reach the postseason again is the Nashville Predators, who are quickly becoming a fierce Central Division rival. Trotz became the coach of Predators in 1997, the year the team was created. He holds the record for most games coached by the first coach of an NHL franchise and of an NHL expansion franchise. I spoke with Trotz who has led the Preds to four straight playoff appearances, after the Blackhawks home opener, which his team won in an overtime shoot-out. Trotz and I discussed many topics including the Blackhawksâ€™ surge in popularity, the depths theyâ€™ve risen from, the Central division rivalries and even his possible plans to bring some reform ideas before the NHL board of Governors.
â€œOne thing our league should really look at is going to a system with equal value for a game. Three points for a win, and if you get into a shootout a 2 and a 1, because if youâ€™re trying to catch up to peopleâ€¦
PMB: So, you would change the system to employ a better weighted average scoring planÂ for the games?
BT: â€œYou have to win more games to catch up and I think the game should be weighted equally, and thatâ€™s the only suggestion I would make because if you fall behind, its hard to make up those points because thereâ€™s so many three-point games, and its something that maybe Iâ€™ll bring up to the board of governors next year.â€
Trotz discussed playing in front of the Hawks new and improved hostile crowd.
Â â€œQuite frankly for the last ten years weâ€™ve been coming here and there was crickets in the building, but that was a pretty good atmosphere and I think itâ€™s great for the league, itâ€™s great for the city of Chicago, theyâ€™re pretty passionate sports fans and you can say what you want, they havenâ€™t been coming to Hawks games the last few years but inside theyâ€™re hawks fans and they showed it todayâ€¦Theyâ€™re marketing well, the people are coming back. Weâ€™ve come in here and thereâ€™s been what I call friends and family and tonight was a packed arena and lots of energy.â€
And the balance of power and dynamic makeup of Central Division rivalriesâ€¦
â€œOur whole division is a rivalry, depending on the degree, we played Detroit 14 times last year, and us and Columbus donâ€™t get along very good, us and Chicago are not getting along very good, and us and St. Louis donâ€™t get along. Thereâ€™s a lot of parity in the league, and attrition wise, the team that can survive the peaks and valleys of the long season will make the playoffs.â€
Discussing the depth quality and makeup of his Preds teams versus that of other NHL squadsâ€¦Follow paulmbanks