The Nashville Predators pulled an unusual move - for general manager David Poile - firing head coach Peter Laviolette during the season. Laviolette was replaced by former New Jersey Devils head coach John Hynes, and that might be it when it comes to changes in Music City.
Poile told the George Plaster Show on WNSR 560AM in Nashville that he trusts his current roster and does not expect to pursue rentals ahead of the trade deadline.
“I don’t feel like we are going to be a big buyer whether we are in (the playoffs) or out,” Poile said.
Poile pointed to special teams as an area where the Predators need to improve in order to make a push for the postseason. That might be an element Hynes will work on since Nashville ranks 23rd on the power play, converting at 17.1 per cent and have the league’s fourth-worst penalty kill at a 74.5 percent success rate, per TSN.
“I really think we are not that far off,” Poile went on, “but we need to make corrections in the system and how we are playing.”
Poile hopes Hynes will get more out of his top lines and back on track for the second half of the 2019-20 season.
“I don’t want to be pointing the finger specifically, because there’s lots of other areas, but our best players and our forwards have to be more productive,” Poile said.
Goalie Pekka Rinne sure got the message, even though he doesn’t play forward: the veteran netminder scored a goal last night in the Preds’ 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
According to Pro Hockey Reference, Rinne is just the 12th goaltender in NHL history to be credited with a goal. He is the first to achieve the feat since Mike Smith did it for the Arizona Coyotes during the 2013-14 season.