The Nashville Predators have a list of injuries that feels a mile long.

Filip Forsberg, Matt Duchene, Eeli Tolvanen, Dante Fabbro, Alex Carrier, Mathieu Olivier, Brad Richardson… a list long enough to make their Twitter graphic feel uncomfortably crowded:

But despite that list of injuries (and suspensions, as Michael McCarron found himself sitting for two games after a nasty hit to the head in Saturday’s game) the Predators still find themselves in an incomprehensible place: a playoff spot. Nashville Predators

On Sunday night, the Nashville Predators beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 in a shootout, getting two huge points over one of the teams chasing them in the standings. That win had a huge impact on the Preds’ playoff chances, increasing it by 13% according to Sports Club Stats. The Preds now have a 44% chance of making the playoffs, something that seemed impossible a month ago.

And the amount of injuries they’ve sustained this season made it seem even more unlikely.

But John Hynes, who has been tested all season, has a good explanation for how they’ve been able to rally the team despite the injuries.

John Hynes praises Preds’ organization, communication

After the big win in Bridgestone on Sunday night, John Hynes addressed the team’s ability to win 12 of 15 games and maintain a playoff spot despite all the injuries.

“It’s an organizational thing,” Hynes said. “It’s being on the same page with our American Hockey League coaches and staff. We’ve got constant communication with Karl [Taylor], Sebastien Bordeleau has been here, Scott Ford’s here now, Scott Nichol. We have great communication with those guys that have a lot of input and pride in what they do.”

Hynes went on to explain that playing the same system at each level of hockey is important.

“We do play the same system, which is important. I think when your American Hockey League team and your NHL team play the same system, it’s easier to plug and play. It’s more beneficial for the players, when they go from American League games to an NHL game, they don’t have to sit and kind of think about, well I have to be here and this is what I have to do. It’s the same concept, it’s the same mindset.”

It’s probably true that most teams have similar systems in their minor leagues as in their major league team. That’s not necessarily unique to the Nashville Predators.

But, at least according to John Hynes, it does seem like the Preds have a lot more “buy in” among their young players.

“Right now we have guys that are willing to play the game the right way. And the way that we need to. So, tactically, you can plug and play and attitudinally and mindset wise, guys really understand how hard you have to work and committed you have to play to have success.”

He’s talking about guys like Tanner Jeannot, Rem Pitlick, Jeremy Davies, Alex Carrier (currently out with an injury), Tyler Lewington, David Farrance, Mathieu Olivier and Yakov Trenin. All guys that played in the team’s AHL squad (with the exception of Farrance) this season and then stepped into a starting role on the NHL squad with some success.

In early March, the Nashville Predators were knocking on the door of last place in the league. There were talks of lottery draft picks, fire sales at the trade deadline, firing the head coach, firing the general manager, and completely overhauling the roster. Now they are holding firm to the 4th playoff spot in the Central Division, standing pat at the deadline, and the organization seems as confident as ever in its head coach and GM.

What a difference a few weeks can make.

— Featured image via Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports —


https://atozsportsnashville.com/nashville-predators-john-hynes-systematic-approach-injuries-preds/
Facebook Comments