Following tonight's 2-1 loss at Carolina, Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz let out some frustration over Carter Hutton's goaltending, basically pinning blame on him for the loss in quotes given to Josh Cooper of the Tennessean.
Trotz on the Skinner game-winner: "You have to save those. That wasn’t much of a shot at all."— JoshuaCooper (@JoshuaCooper) January 6, 2014
Trotz on Hutton's performance: "That’s not good enough for this league. He wasn’t strong at all."— JoshuaCooper (@JoshuaCooper) January 6, 2014
While it is a bit odd to see a guy who lost 2-1 blame his goalie rather than his 25th-ranked offensive attack, the two goals that Hutton gave up tonight were both stinkers.
What's remarkable about those quotes from Trotz tonight is that they are unusually harsh, something we see maybe once a season from the coach when things aren't going well (recall his "horrible" blast on Ekholm a couple seasons ago). In this case, however, it's also an indictment of David Poile's signing of Hutton on the first day of free agency last summer, a surprising move considering Hutton's inexperience and the risk surrounding Pekka Rinne's off-season hip surgery.
It was obviously one of the biggest risks surrounding this team heading into the season, and it has turned out badly so far for the Preds. The team's 5-on-5 save percentage is 5th-worst in the NHL, taking away any margin for error considering their underwhelming offensive production.
Will we see a move made on this front any time soon? Options could include putting Hutton through waivers and sending him to Milwaukee, in exchange for perhaps Scott Darling or Magnus Hellberg, but neither of those would be considered upgrades. In the meantime, the team can ride Marek Mazanec as their #1 starter, but he's had his ups and downs as well.
Considering the fact that this team has dim (at best) playoff hopes, does it make sense to part with any assets to bring in help until Pekka Rinne recovers from his hip infection?
There aren't any easy answers here, unfortunately.
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