Friday, October 31, 2008

Our One and Only

Hi, my name is Barry Trotz. I enjoy the occasional locker room freakout after a particularly bad on ice performance. I have an aversion to turtlenecks as they further accentuate the fact that I have no neck. Oh, and did I mention that I am often compared to a gorilla by Nashville’s fans? See Exhibit A:

Exhibit A

All silliness aside, Barry Trotz is holding his own as one of the NHL’s longest-tenured coaches with one team, second only to Buffalo’s Lindy Ruff. And since Trotz has been the only coach this franchise has ever known, we have little else to compare him to. With a franchise as young as the Nashville Predators, one should not expect greatness overnight. It took Trotz six years to find the right formula for a winning season. Since 2003-2004, the Predators have found themselves on the winning side of things every year.

While there is something to be said for making the playoffs four years in a row, people continue to argue that something is lacking when we never manage to make it past the first round. Every post-season, Predators fans pontificate about the shortcomings of the coaching staff and how they would do it better if they ran the show. When we failed to make it past the first round after our most successful season to date (2006-2007), the Fire Trotz Brigade kicked it into high gear. However, when Trotz and Co. managed to lead the team back to the playoffs last season, they were rewarded with contract extensions (and rightfully so).

His coaching style definitely has its share of quirks. He gushes over young players and sometimes puts more faith in them than I believe they deserve. He has his “favorites” that can never seem to do wrong by him, even if they always play a horrible game. He likes to keep the same team on the ice day in and day out, as long as we’re winning; even if that means continuously scratching players who should be in the lineup over ones that are just okay. He expects consistency from every player on the team and yet changes line combinations and defensive pairings faster than you can count to ten.

Quirks and irks notwithstanding, Barry Trotz has been very successful in his tenure with the Predators organization. Every year, he is able to take a group of guys and turn them into a true team in every sense of the word. He believes in team building, both on and off the ice. The guys are encouraged to build strong relationships throughout the season and I think that is testament to our ability to be resilient in the face of adversity. It’s not an every man for himself environment. There are no superstars, no divo-like mentalities; just 23 players with the same mindset and determination to go out and give their best performance every night.

Trotz might not get it right all the time, but he’s alright with me.

1 comment:

Ellie said...

love the gorilla comparison : )