What kind of start do fans prefer? Would you rather have your team start off poorly and then play better or start strong and then lose a few games.
Last season, the Predators won two quick games to start the season, then lost six games in a row before winning a wild contest in overtime against Ottawa. Included in that streak were back to back shellackings by Dallas and Edmonton where the Preds yielded six goals in each game. The power play was anemic with only one man advantage goal in 27 attempts through eight games.
After the 2-5-1 start last year, folks were clamoring for a major change and even whispering that it may be time to considering replacing Barry Trotz who did not seem particularly ruffled at the time. Except for the two blowouts, Trotz continued to find positives in the team's play.
Trotz transformed those positives into a 12-3-0 run that had them back in the thick of the playoff picture by American Thanksgiving.
This season, the Predators were the last NHL team to lose in regulation as the soared to the best record in the league at 5-0-3. They did have a three game losing streak hidden in their quick start but fans were somewhat appeased by gaining a "loser" point in each loss.
During this eight game run, the injuries mounted but the team managed to play through it. They finally had their first regulation loss in a 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues last Thursday. That was followed by a team that was totally decimated by injuries being non-competitive in Detroit on Saturday.
After three days off and the return of three players from injury, the Preds found a new way to lose on Wednesday in Phoenix. The normally solid Pekka Rinne appeared to have beaten his jersey into outer space as he appeared out of sync repeatedly in the loss to the Coyotes.
The tone of the blogs and the tweets from the fans were not good late Wednesday night and yesterday. There were no calls for Trotz's ouster but the masses were not happy and appeared to want to see Anders Lindback in goal tomorrow..
So after eleven games this year the team is 5-3-3 while last season, the mark was 5-6-1. The collective mood of the fans seemed better last year at this point as the team had won three of four and were beginning to get on a roll.
So which is better, a fast start and then a slump, or a slump and a recovery. You decide.
In Pred Nation...
The space shuttle Discovery with Pekka Rinne's jersey on board was being fueled in preparation for its final trip into space this morning but was scrubbed at 7:11 a.m. Central due to a hydrogen leak. Go here to follow developments and find when the launch will be rescheduled. The next possible chance will be Sunday. The story of the jersey launch is starting to get attention elsewhere including this post in the Montreal Gazette.
Jim Diamond was inspired by Paul Nicholson and crunched the numbers to show that he Predators have spent over a million dollars on injured players so far this season.
Amanda DiPaolo puts together a really good piece on the transformation of the Predators from being a team in trouble to one that is solidly entrenched as a healthy franchise.
David Boclair discusses the new role of Kevin Klein and his attempts to create offense chances.
Blake Geoffrion blogs about life on the road and the bus at Inside Predators.
Dirk Hoag has his weekly look at all the fantasy gems on the Nashville Predators.
Chris Burton discusses Sergei Kostitsyn as an untapped resource.
Bryan Mullen has notes from Barry Trotz after yesterday's practice. He also writes about Shane O'Brian's makeover with the Predators.
AJ at PMFF takes a trip back in time to discuss the Predators recent happenings.
Mark Willoughby explains what happened on Tuesday in his weekly My View.
Cathie from Habs Rants defends Sergie Kostitsyn from his detractors.
Prospect Zach Budish is scheduled to meet with doctors tomorrow for another look at his knee after his moped accident.
The Milwaukee Admirals play Peoria at home tonight at home and celebrate the TV series "Dallas" with a special appearance by "Lucy Ewing" at Sunday's game. That makes you want to go to Milwaukee, right?
If you didn't get enough of Wednesday's loss to the Coyotes, Pete and Terry discuss the change of momentum early in the third period when the Yotes blew by the Preds.
The Predators are giving away a trip to the Winter Classic. Enter here.
Around the NHL...
Good news for the Devils for a change as Marty Brodeur feels that he will be able to start against the Rangers in spite of his bruised elbow that forced him to leave Wednesday's game versus the Hawks.
Here's the latest news on Dale Tallon's coaches challenge proposal to be presented to the NHL GMs next week.
Ryan Porth has the top five active players without a Stanley Cup ring.
Adrian Dater has an explanation of what a "bag skate" is after a recent one directed by Avs coach Joe Sacco. Dater then jumps over to Versus and writes about five coaches on the hot seat.
There is potential trouble brewing with security at the Winter Classic. It appears organizers don't want to pay the holiday rate. To me, it seems like that would go with the territory of playing on a holiday.
You've got to hand it to Spector's Hockey who has a long article about relocation and contraction and does not once mention Nashville. Lyle Richardson is aware of the positive moves in Nashville and doesn't throw the Preds in the mix just because it has become customary for some to do so.
I agree with Su Ring who discusses why Tim Thomas should have been the number one star for October.
I wish I lived in Red Deer so I could fly to Calgary or Edmonton for less than $10 Canadian. I'd fly from Columbia to Nashville for that.
Not that hockey fans need advice on the topic but Down Goes Brown offers fans a guide to booing.
Odds and Ends...
The Nashville RollerGirls will debut on the big stage tonight as they play their first bout in the National Championships in Chicago. They will face long-time power Oly at 7:15. Nashville finished third in the mid-south region while Oly was second to Denver in the West.
Stealing yard signs was always a big thing when I was a malicious teenager, but now Jim Cooper is paying folks to turn signs in to their office.
Here is an interesting display of Wal-Mart's growth over the last 48 years presented by Flowing Data.
From @InsideKSC: Thought 4 day: Enough money is being spent on Obama's 10 day visit to India to fund at least TWO Space Shuttle missions. Money well spent?
This seems like common sense, but here are seven reasons why you might have trouble getting investors interested in a new business venture.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass