The Nashville Predators are off to a great start, and two players leading the charge. Can Forsberg and Johansen set records?
After two consecutive years of team record-breaking performances, it is high time for a few Nashville Predators individual records to be broken. No, the season record of 242 penalty minutes by Patrick Cote won’t be broken this year. And I doubt it ever will. Neither will the record of 73 games played by a goalie, shared by Tomas Vokoun and Pekka Rinne. But a few offensive categories seem to be in reach this year, especially given how the top line of Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen, and Viktor Arvidsson are playing.
During the 2008-09 season, Nashville Predators center Jason Arnott set a franchise record with 33 goals in a season. Filip Forsberg tied that same record in his second full season of play in 2015-16. To start this year, in 11 games played, Forsberg is well on his way to smashing that record. He has 10 goals, and he’s fresh off a natural hat trick. He’s just shy of a goal-per-game rate, and with 40 shots on goal, Forsberg is scoring on every four shots he takes.
More from Predators News
- Joakim Kemell Flashes his Offense in Nashville Predators Loss to Tampa
- Nashville Predators 2023 Training Camp Spotlight: Luke Schenn
- Nashville Predators 2023 Training Camp Roster Officially Announced
- Nashville Predators Rookie Camp will Showcase Loaded Prospect Pool
- How Crazy Would Signing Phil Kessel be for the Nashville Predators?
The Swedish phenom is nearly a third of the way there in breaking the team record. And he’s exceeding expectations that he’ll become the Nashville Predators first 40-goal scorer. His adjusted rate has him on pace to notch 74 goals on the year. Forsberg’s hot start shows no signs of cooling down, and Preds fans are eager to see what he’ll do next.
Paul Kariya was in his first season with the Nashville Predators when he set the team record of 54 assists in a year. That was back in 2005-06, and after 13 years have passed, it’s very possible that record could be broken this year. Ryan Johansen, the top-line center for the Predators, has 11 assists so far which is good for an assist-per-game rate. The simple math on that is Joey is on pace to finish with 82 assists.
On a number of goals he has set up, Johansen has used his body to keep a defenseman at bay as he drives towards the net. In turn, this has created high-danger scoring chances for his teammates. It’s paid off nicely this early in the season. Plus with four of assists on the Power Play, and pushing 20 ATOI, Johansen has plenty of opportunities to keep the helpers coming.
The Nashville Predators 2005-06 season set a precedent for many single-season records. Paul Kariya also established a record with 85 points that year. The closest a player has come in recent memory happened last year when Filip Forsberg tallied 64 points. To me, it seemed that record would never be touched. The lack of a superstar player and a balanced scoring attack doesn’t necessarily merit an 80+ point season from an individual player.
Based on the early performance of Nashville’s JoFA line, any one of those players may push for a new record. Viktor Arvidsson is operating on a point-per-game basis. While his adjusted rate is set 81 points for the year, the chemistry with his linemates can easily elevate those numbers. Johansen is at 1.18 point-per-game, and Forsberg is 1.27. The adjusted rate for Forsberg and Johansen puts them around 100 points at season’s end. That’s insane.
If the Nashville Predators continue to rely on these three players to win games, each of these team records will most certainly be broken. Personally, I’d love to see all three broken. I’m confident Forsberg will surpass 33 goals. Nothing shows otherwise. Johansen has never finished above 47 assists, but I think he may come close to Kariya’s record, or at least set a new personal record.
The only record I’m stuck on is the point total. The 2005-06 season was a special one. Paul Kariya and Steve Sullivan took command of the Nashville Predators scoring. The JoFA line is off to a spectacular start. Their chemistry is apparent. But I’m still not sold on an 80 point scorer since it’s been taboo for so long.
I’d love to be proven wrong, though.