Well along with John Tortarella, Peter Laviolette not only became the 25th coach to hit 500 wins in the NHL, he’s the 2nd American born coach to hit the 500 mark. Peter hit the mark as the Preds notched a 4-2 win over the Wild this past Sunday. It should go without saying that anytime a coach hits the 500 win mark in their career speaks volumes as their skill and knowledge to be a coach. Coaching is a talent that I feel can be overlooked depending on the franchise and team. Let’s look at some legendary coaches from the past and look how hard it can be to stack up wins, Scotty Bowman with 1,244 wins out of 2142 games coached, Joel Quenneville 801 wins out of 1,481 games coached, and Al Arbor 782 wins out of 1,607 games. Just these 3 guys alone are legendary in their own right, Quenneville being the only one active out of the 3 will continue to climb the ranks.
Laviolette is coaching his 4th team in the NHL, having coached the Islanders, Hurricanes, Flyers, and now the Predators, he is definitely established himself as one of the premier coaches in the league today. A Stanley Cup winning coach with the Carolina Hurricanes back in 05-06, and making the playoffs 8 times in his career. I can remember that Cup final against the Oilers back in 06, with that series going the distance in 7 games where the Canes prevailed and Cam Ward winning the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP.
Laviolette has a aggressive, go out and get it coaching style, never letting talent to be the judge of games he’s coaching in.His time in Philly really showed that, constantly playing against Pittsburgh back in the younger days of Crosby and Malkin. Even his first year in Philly taking the Flyers to the Cup finals where they lost to Chicago and their beginning of dominance for the next 6 years. He can own a team and keep a finger on the pulse of any team good or bad, and has proved that time and time again. Now in Nashville with a solid team, the success they had last season making it to the 2nd round where they lost to Chicago, a team that was just too much to handle at the time for Nashville.
With guys like P.K. Subban, James Neal, Pekka Rinne, Filip Forsberg, and others he possesses a team that can do damage in a Central division in the Western Conference that can keep teams up late at nite. The Central division is always up for grabs with Chicago, Minnesota, and Nashville always seemingly winning games at will. One thing for sure, Peter will never let the Preds under perform no matter the situation or game, he demands the best all and every time, and that’s why I can respect him as a coach. Continuing to coach at the rate he is, he can maybe crack the 700 to 800 win mark, he is still got plenty of youth it seems to me, but we do know that coaching for a long time and in big games can still the youth out of you, (lol) but he is handling it with grace and a style that’s like no other so, keeping watching Preds fans, Laviolette will bring more success for the Nashville franchise!!!