Coming off the second season in the past nine in which they did not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Predators management clearly was unsatisfied and sought to revert to what it considers its traditional core -- "Predator hockey" -- to be.
Injuries, along with underperformance from several players, some of whom the team has let go (most notably left wing Sergei Kostitsyn, who scored three goals last season after leading the team in 2010-11) caused Nashville to finish with the NHL's fourth-worst record. (Predators general manager David Poile said Friday that Kostitsyn's contract was terminated after he passed through waivers and the player has signed in the Kontinental Hockey League.)
"We all feel we lost a little bit of the -- not hard work -- but hardness," Poile said. "We lost a little bit along the way. We got it back today."