Nashville Predators: Roman Josi first season as Captain gets mixed marks

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 25: Roman Josi
NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 25: Roman Josi /

Each year presents new challenges. Some players rise to the occasion. How well did Roman Josi’s first season go as captain of the Nashville Predators? 

On September 19, 2017, the Nashville Predators named Roman Josi to be the new team captain.  Filling the shoes with the likes of Mike Fisher and Shea Weber before him, Josi had a lot to live up to.  Let’s see how well he did in 2017-2018, his first season with the ‘C’ stitched on his jersey.

Generates Chances

Roman Josi is a reliable point-getter and a valuable two-way defenseman. He has been very consistent in point totals when seeing regular playing time.  Judging by his stats from his first four full seasons of play, you can expect him to put up around 15 goals a year, adding 30-40 assists on top of that.  This season was no different as he tallied 14 goals and 39 assists, good for the fifth highest point total on the team.

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Josi definitely set out to create scoring chances this season. He led the team and set a new career high in shots on goal with 253.  In turn, his shots created 30 rebounds. You can’t go wrong getting pucks to the net.  Also, while he was on the ice, the team generated a total of 343 high-danger chances–a number that has increased every year Josi has been in Nashville.

It’s clear that creating offense and scoring chances is a part of Roman Josi’s game, but how was he on defense this year?

Top Line D-Man

While Josi has established himself as an offensive threat, his defensive game is just as good.  Josi anchored the top defensive line yet again for the Nashville Predators.  Though his Corsi-for percentage dropped from last year (53% down to 51%), it still means that when Josi was on the ice the Predators were in control of the puck more than the opponent.

Also, worth mentioning is that when Josi was on the ice, the team had a 92% save percentage.  Moreover, only 83 goals were scored when Josi was skating.  The lowest total in his five full seasons of play.  He showed why the Predators want him as a top line player.

Playoff Decline

Roman Josi further established himself as an elite two-way defenseman during 2017-2018 regular season.  Come playoffs, though, he left Predator fans wanting more.  His shots simply were not finding their way through.  More than half of his shots were blocked or missed the net.  Based on that it is not surprising that he didn’t score a goal and only mustered four assists.

His Corsi percentage was slightly better than the regular season.  However, more goals were scored against the Predators when Josi was skating than goals scored for.  The high-danger chances also swung the opponents’ way–a trend that has persisted the past couple of years.

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Final Thoughts

The regular season was proof as to why the Nashville Predators chose Roman Josi as captain of the team.  He is a two-way threat who generates scoring opportunities and limits chances for the opponents.  The stats in the playoffs, however, tell a different story.  He was limited on the score sheet.  And when Josi was on the ice in the playoffs, the scoring chances tilted towards the opponents.  You cannot let a subpar playoff performance tarnish an otherwise positive regular season.  Overall grade: B+