Nashville Predators fans wanted to see more of the same from Viktor Arvidsson in 2017-18. That’s exactly what they got.
Heading into the 2017-18 season, many of us wondered if Viktor Arvidsson would continue his success from 2016-17, or if he was a flash in the pan. I know now it seems like a silly thing to wonder, but it was a topic of discussion some nine months ago. I wrote about it. As much as I enjoyed Arvidsson’s style of play, I, along with many others, wondered if he could keep it up.
Arvidsson silenced the doubters with another highly successful season. He’s established himself as a top-six forward & a key ingredient to Nashville’s offensive success. His presence in front of the net distracting goalies led to countless Predator scoring chances. His hustle was contagious. Arvidsson’s chemistry with Filip Forsberg & Ryan Johansen continued to carry the Nashville Predators to new heights.
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A productive regular season
I said before the season started that the Nashville Predators would go as Viktor Arvidsson went. When you look at his game log for the 2017-18 season, you realize that’s exactly what happened. Arvidsson got off to a slow start, only getting five points in October. He had his longest scoring drought of the season at the end of the month, going six games without a goal or assist. The Predators were a pedestrian 5-5-2 to start the season.
Arvidisson got goals in three straight games from November 3-7 to break his scoreless streak, & Nashville started winning. He got points in seven out of Nashville’s next eight games, of which they won seven. Arvidsson got going, the Predators got going, and life was good from that point on.
Arvidsson’s twenty-nine goals were the most for a Nashville Predator. His sixty-one points were good for second. He tied with Filip Forsberg at the top of the leaderboard with six game-winners. Corsica Hockey had him as the 11th best right wing in 2017-18. Filip Forsberg was the only Predator that rated higher at their position.
Postseason ups & downs
His postseason, like Nashville’s had its ups & downs. He had two games against Winnipeg where he got three points. The Nashville Predators won Game 2 & Game 6 in Winnipeg in large part due to Viktor Arvidsson. He didn’t get a goal or an assist in the other five games in the series. As in the regular season, the Predators did as Viktor Arvidsson did.
Arvidsson’s fun didn’t end after the Winnipeg series. He, Filip Forsberg & Mattias Ekholm joined Team Sweden at the IIHF World Championships. The infusion of Nashville talent was enough for Sweden to claim the gold medal. Arvidsson scored three goals, including two against the United States in the semi-finals. We all would have preferred Arvidsson to go out on a good note with the Predators, but maybe he, Forsberg & Ekholm can take something positive out of winning for their country.
Viktor Arvidsson proved he wasn’t a flash in the pan. His success is sustainable & there’s no reason the 25-year-old one of the Nashville Predators’ most productive players for years to come. That seven-year contract is looking pretty good for Nashville right now.
It wasn’t a perfect season. He got off to a slow start, and his finish wasn’t the best either. There were stretches of brilliance, but in order for the Nashville Predators to reach their full potential, Arvidsson will need to be more consistent. One area he is consistent in is effort, and there’s no doubt that he’ll bring as much of that in 2018-19 as he did in 2017-18. There isn’t a Predator that tries harder on a consistent basis than Arvidsson, and that’s why the fans love him.
Season Grade: A-
Arvidsson didn’t get the kind of numbers I expected in the preseason, but he was consistently one of the Predators’ key players. Even when he wasn’t getting numbers he was finding other ways to impact games.