The Nashville Predators have a speedy young forward that has made an impact on the ice, but not where you’d expect.
This Nashville Predators biggest impact is off of the score sheet. Viktor Arvidsson the 5’9″ 180 pound Swede provided a huge goal for The Predators In Game 6. After a game-tying goal by Playoff Colin Wilson, Arvidsson in two minutes of Overtime, collected the puck after Miikka Salomaki flipped it into the offensive zone. Arvidsson broke through three Shark players, gathered the puck, putting his backside against defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and threw the backhanded shot towards Martin Jones.
Sometimes you just have to throw it on net and the hockey gods will do the rest. Heading into the fourteenth game of the playoffs for the Predators, Arvidsson has two points. The goal from Game 6 and he recorded an assist in the first series against Anaheim. Now obviously hockey fans and hockey writers will turn most of their focus on the players who are scoring and racking up the points, but I’d like to look at Arvidsson the way I believe Coach Peter Laviolette looks at his players. He’s visible on the ice.
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That’s something we have heard from Lavy most of the playoffs when we talks about the hard work of his players. It’s the same thing he said when he was talking about Colin Wilson at the end of the regular season before Wilson went all Hulked out on us and became Playoff Colin Wilson. He was visible.
What does he mean when he says that? Nashville Predators coach Laviolette is talking about more than what the state sheet shows. He’s talking about passing, forechecking, finding open spaces in the offensive zone, etc. It’s the dirty work that helps the big highlight plays happen. If you’ve watched Arvidsson play, you’ll notice number 38 out there playing like it’s his last game. He gives us his all every night.
This guy constantly puts his body on the line, especially so far in the playoffs because both teams we have played are big bodied and hard-hitting teams. They use their strength to their advantage. So when you’re 5’9″ those big bodies colliding into you constantly can wear you down. Not Arvidsson. He does not quit. He gets pushed around a lot due to his size, but he works harder and harder. So needless to say that Overtime goal was a much-deserved hero moment for him.
He may not score that often, but when he does, man does he score. This is a “goal of the year” kind of goal ladies and gents.
That goal, from the regular season, is a great example of how he doesn’t quit. He is falling down, I repeat, falling down and he still takes the shot. Arvidsson doesn’t rack up the score sheet like our other Swedes. He only had 8 goals and 8 assists in 56 games, according to the NHL website, but he’s proven to the coaches that he has earned a roster spot.
Mainly playing on the third line with Wilson and Mike Fisher, Arvidsson got the bump up to the first line next to Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg. With his speed and tenacity, I think, Arvidsson was able to pressure the Sharks and attack often with that line.
In the Playoffs, there are always some unsung heroes that will take the game by the horns and battle through the end. Viktor Arvidsson is one of those players. He won’t always score goals, like a James Neal or a Filip Forsberg, but he will fight tooth and nail to the very end to help his team win.
When you have a rookie who is willing to do anything for his team despite his size, then that becomes the recipe for a fan favorite and teammate favorite. Keep an eye on this guy in Game 7 because he is fun to watch.