Trotz: Playoff inexperience can be good

Updated: April 14, 2010, 6:54 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz doesn't have the luxury of starting an experienced goaltender against the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the NHL playoffs.

But that's OK, because the Blackhawks don't have one either, and even if they did, the Nashville coach isn't sure that it's all that important.

"A lot of these players, when you say they don't have playoff experience, sometimes that is a little bit of an overrated thing," Trotz said Monday on ESPN 1000. "Sometimes not having any experience is good because it's new. You don't have any past demons, and you just go forward and play."

That's what the Predators and Blackhawks are counting on once the playoffs begin on Friday at the United Center when the the Predators' Pekka Rinne and the Hawks' Antti Niemi make their NHL postseason debuts.

"I think our goaltender is ready," Trotz said. "When I look at [Rinne and] Niemi, these guys aren't 20 years old, they're 27, 26 years old somewhere in there. Our goaltender has lots of playoff experience just not in the NHL. He's been a big part of minor league success when our minor league team won the Calder Cup. He's played in a lot of big games, world championships."

Trotz, whose Predators finished with 100 points but claimed the seventh seed, knows his team faces a formidable foe.

"They've got a real exciting club," Trotz said of the Blackhawks. "[Coach] Joel [Quenneville] has done a wonderful job, has put a lot of structure into the team. They have a lot of speed, skill, and it looks like they've got some good experience from last year's playoffs. They are definitely a heavyweight contender in the West."

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