‘We Need 94 Points’March 14, 2008
That quote is from the Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz. 94 points has been his prediction for the past two weeks of the number it will take to make the playoffs in the West. That has been the number ingrained into all the Predator players as they make their push. 94 points. 94 points. 94 points.
Let me throw out why I think this type of talk is a problem. Trotz has used the 94 point mark as the benchmark…as the total he thinks the #8 team will have. Why aim for that? That is like a golfer going into a tournament saying ‘I think the cut is going to be -3. I have to get to three under.’ No! You need to get to -7 to make sure you aren’t squeaking by.
This philosophy, I believe, has back fired in a major way. For the past three weeks or so the Preds have been looking at the number eight spot as the Holy Grail instead of looking past that and aiming higher. We all know the old quote ‘It’s better to aim and the stars and fail than to aim at the gutter and succeed.’
While I don’t think the Preds were aiming for the gutter they certainly were not aiming for the stars. While I know that all the players are ‘big boys’ and that they can think for themselves it is still the coach who sets the tone and the goals for the team. Trotz has failed miserably in doing this. He has let him team and his fans down but being so shortsighted in his leadership. Perhaps we are seeing why this team has never made it past the first round. (Yes I know the Preds have been facing injuries etc…but every team has excuses. You have to get past that at some point and just play hockey!)
Were they trying to be realistic? Perhaps but faced with what should of been two points last night the Preds failed. Big time. No need to worry though…we only need 94 points so we only need to win 8 of the last 10. No big deal.