Best Predator Hug: Calle Jarnkrok & Craig Smith, March 29
I don’t think there’s much I can add here.
Most Unheralded Predator: Ryan Johansen
There’s something about Johansen that seems to rub hockey fans the wrong way. Jets fans don’t like him because he clubbed Mark Scheifele in the head with his stick. Minnesota Wild fans don’t like him because he’s scored two shootout-winners & a shorthanded game-winner against the Wild this season. I don’t blame them, if the Predators lost two times to this I’d be mad too:
Some Nashville Predators fans aren’t in love with Johansen either. He doesn’t shoot enough for their taste. True, Johansen had a nineteen-game streak where he didn’t score a goal. Goals haven’t been as much of Johansen’s game as people were hoping when he arrived from Colorado. He scored 33 in 2013-14 & 26 in 2014-15, and barring a big week he won’t get half of either of those numbers in 2018-19.
It reminds me of Cincinnati Reds fans complaining about Joey Votto because he walks too much. Votto’s excellence isn’t easily consumed by the casual baseball fan. Johansen’s contributions to the Predators are much in the same light. He doesn’t score a large number of goals, but he has fifty assists on the season. He puts his teammates in the right place to succeed. It might not drive the fans wild, but it makes the team better.