The Nashville Predators will be looking to experience and leadership as they face the Calgary Flames tonight at home, the first of four series meetings between the teams in 2009-10.
Looking at his team and the current success they have had, head coach Barry Trotz feels it can be accredited to a different kind of team than in pervious years; leadership and experience he feels are keys to this transformation.
“I think this team is a little different than last year, I think we are a little deeper. A year of experience for some of our young forwards in our organization, they are just a little better.”
Trotz continued, “But to me what has happened is a little bit of a transformation, the next group of leadership -- the Arnotts, the Sullivans, the Dumonts -- have been leaders for us for a while -- and what’s happened is the Suters, the Webers, the Hamhuis, the Pekka Rinnes they have joined them and become the next ones in the leadership group.”
With the gained experience and time with the team Trotz continued to speak about this new leadership group, “I think they have a bigger ownership than that, they are sort of taking over the team so there is a little deeper leadership group than maybe in the year before.”
Trotz also took time during morning skate to give due respect to the Calgary team; heading into play tonight the Flames are currently 16-6-3 and sit third in the Western Conference.
“To me they really have three difference makers. One is (Jarome) Iginla up front, (Miikka) Kiprusoff in the net, and (Jay) Bouwmeester on the back end. They have a difference maker in every position this year,” Trotz expressed. Trotz credits Calgary for playing a strong low game with a strong forechecking system and the ability to crash the net hard.
Defenseman Kevin Klein
agrees with the coaches comments stating that the team knows this will be a good match up. “We know they are a good team coming in, they have a lot of speed, they play a physical game. I think we will just have to really fore check hard, really execute on our plays, we really need to bring energy.”