Nashville Predators: Viktor Arvidsson Having Monumental Season

(Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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We’re witnessing one of the best individual seasons ever for a Nashville Predators player. Viktor Arvidsson has been the highlight of 2018-19.

It’s been an up and down season for the Nashville Predators as a whole, and yet they can still win the Central Division. You can point to plenty of glaring weaknesses that gives you pause for this team’s playoffs chances. However, there are a handful of players who have kept this team afloat, and Viktor Arvidsson leads that pack.

Arvidsson continues to improve in each of his five NHL seasons, with this year being his best by far. He’s spoiled us fans to the point that we just expect him to get his points and make his impact pretty much every game. The fact that he missed 24 games due to injury and has still kept up this scoring pace is remarkable, and a big reason why the Predators have remained in the hunt for back-to-back division titles.

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Putting it into perspective

If Arvidsson is playing a full season this year, he’s easily breaking the franchise record for goals in a season a while back ago. He’s currently tied with Filip Forsberg and Jason Arnott with 33 goals for the single-season franchise record. He has three games left to hold the record all by himself, and in what will be in 24 games shy of a full regular season. Here’s to hoping he gets the record to himself as he deserves it after the ridiculous scoring pace he’s been on since the calendar flipped over to 2019.

I’ve come to expect Arvidsson to tally a goal in every game. I’m more surprised when he’s held without a goal than I am when he does score. There’s been plenty of horrendous games this season from the Predators as a team, but he has remained that consistent spark that seems to show up for every shift.

Another astonishing stat from Arvidsson extends back to the beginning of the 2016-17 season. We love how hard he works to create separation and find scoring chances in the most unlikely situations. This is why he leads the NHL in shorthanded goals since the start of 2016-17, per Adam Vingan of the Athletic. Yet another illustration of how valuable of a weapon Arvidsson is for the Predators and their top line.

Arvidsson does already currently hold two impressive franchise records for his 2018-19 season. In just 55 games played, Arvidsson has 29 even-strength goals, which is two clear of the next player on the list, James Neal. We know Arvidsson as a special teams scorer, but he’s really elevating his offense at even strength as well. He’s a lethal weapon to score a goal in all situations. Another record that he’ll hold onto through the last three games is his goals per game production, which sits at 0.60. He’ll set that new franchise record regardless if he tallies another goal or not.

What’s next for him

After witnessing this current season, there’s no reason to put a ceiling on where Arvidsson can go next. Obviously, he has to stay healthy to really pile up the numbers and be in contention for a Hart Trophy or another season award. Injuries or durability hasn’t really been a problem up to this point as he played in 158 of 164 regular season games in the two previous seasons. Longevity isn’t a concern for me with him.

His next step is translating these great numbers to the playoffs. Arvidsson managed five goals and four assists in 13 playoff games last season. He needs to keep up his current goal pace to help the Predators offset some issues they have with depth scoring. He also needs to play a key role in wiping the slate clean and fixing this 30th-ranked power play once the playoffs start. He has just two power play goals on the year.

Arvidsson alone probably won’t win a playoff series for the Predators, but they certainly can’t afford to see his production drop off. Him and Ryan Johansen are the most important players on the team outside of Pekka Rinne. If these guys slip at all, the Predators might get swept. A lot of pressure will be on Arvidsson to keep up this pace.

Going into this season, I had Arvidsson and Forsberg  in a virtual deadlock as far as best Predators scorer. I can’t say that anymore, and Arvidsson’s ceiling seems higher now as well. Arvidsson just notched his 100th career goal in a sweet win over the Penguins, making him the fastest to reach that milestone in Predators history. Here’s the clip of the goal from NHL.com:

Next. Predators Heading to Playoffs for 5th-Straight Year. dark

Arvidsson passes Forsberg as fasted to accomplish this feat, in 274 career games played. Let’s count our blessings as Predators fans that we have the joy of watching this guy in a Predators uniform. It looks like he’ll be here for the distant future, so here’s to watching him break many more records and eventually hoisting a Stanley Cup on lower Broadway. Now go get another goal and hold that single-season record all to yourself, Arvy.