New Jersey Devils: A Warning To Nashville Predators About John Hynes

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The New Jersey Devils former head coach John Hynes was not available for very long. There are some things the Nashville Predators fans should know before going into life in a blender.

The New Jersey Devils made the right decision a couple months ago when they ended their relationship with head coach John Hynes. The team needed a change, and Hynes was getting desperate behind the bench. This was a terrible combination, so general manager Ray Shero made the move.

On Tuesday morning, the Nashville Predators hired Hynes to replace Peter Laviolette behind the bench. It’s not a huge surprise that Hynes got a job this season. He’s a good coach who has a lot to offer a team, however it seems like he has been miscast.

Hynes made a lot of mistakes at the end of his tenure in New Jersey. He had an issue developing chemistry because he would continually change line to try and find the right combinations. However, with young centers like Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier and Pavel Zacha, they need to get used to their linemates.

The good news for the Predators is their centers are Ryan Johansen, Matt Duchene and Kyle Turris. They are veterans who can play with just about anyone. The major issue here is getting them used to their wingers. Especially with a line of forwards that will need to get used to his style and his changes, flipping forwards and getting them used to new linemates won’t help.

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Then, there are the goaltending issues in Nashville. They have two very talented goalies that are playing very, very bad right now. Sound familiar? He’s basically going into the same situation he had with Cory Schneider and Keith Kinkaid last season. Of course, overall Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros are more talented that last year’s Devils duo, but it’s still comparable.

Hynes is big on riding the hot hand. That’s usually a good strategy, but Hynes tends to ride that hand into the ground. That’s an issue Rinne has dealt with before, but has caused him to fall apart in the playoffs. Despite being the top guy in the regular season, only twice in his career did he have a save percentage over .910 in the postseason, including an insane performance in 2017 to carry the Preds to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Rinne right now has a .896 save percentage, while Saros has a .892 save percentage. Getting these two goalies on track is key to getting the Predators back into the playoff race.

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If the Predators were looking to get a coach that was available right now with a ton of upside, then this was the right choice. Hynes could become a great coach, or he could flame out pretty spectacularly. Hiring him right now gives you no inbetween.

The Preds are currently five points out of the playoffs. They hired a coach that is going to drive you crazy when you look into every single move he makes. His line combos will make you want to pull your hair out, and his loyalty to a certain few players will make you question his motives. That’s the warning, however there aren’t many coaches who the players will say they like as much as Hynes. Sure, it seemed like the Devils quit on him, but there were a thousand things going into that. It turns out the Taylor Hall trade talk might have impacted them more than anything. The Predators are taking a chance we may not agree with, but we at least see their thought process here.