We’re dropping the puck on our midseason grades for the Nashville Predators, and who better than to start with captain Roman Josi?
What a season it’s been for the captain of the Nashville Predators, Roman Josi. He’s already had an excellent career up to this point, but this season is easily his best through the first half of 2019-20.
It’s hard to find bright spots with the Predators currently. You have to dig pretty deep, but Josi jumps off the page. He’s easily going to be in the conversation for a Norris Trophy at the end of the season.
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Josi has a current 11-game point streak going, which is a franchise record for a defenseman. He just recently passed long-time Predators great Shea Weber for that milestone. Furthermore, no player in franchise history has ever had this many points through just 40 games.
With this point streak, Josi’s numbers have blossomed to 45 points in 42 games and sporting a Corsi percentage of just under 55 percent. He’s doing everything he can to keep the struggling Predators afloat as this team’s captain.
The franchise record for longest point streak by any player is 16 games held by J.P. Dumont, set in 2008. The way Josi is having to carry much of this team right now, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ties or breaks that record in the coming weeks.
#Preds Captain Roman Josi now has points in 11 consecutive games (7g-12a). It’s the longest point streak by a defenseman in the NHL this season and the longest by a blueliner since Tyson Barrie (11 games) in 2017-18.
— Nashville Preds PR (@PredsPR) January 8, 2020
What’s really impressive is Josi is doing this after already securing his long and massive new contract extension. That’s not making him relax in any way, and has made him look even more hungry to elevate his game to an elite level.
Josi is also the lone player on the Nashville Predators that’s heading to the All-Star Game in St.Louis later this month. That’s a fair call considering no other player on the team is really breaking out enough to deserve an All-Star spot.
Simply put, if the Predators didn’t have Josi, they’d quite possibly already be deep in the basement with no chance of climbing out. Thanks to Josi, the Predators do have some hope to turn things around and be a playoff bubble team going into the last couple weeks of the regular season.
The only shred of criticism I can give Josi this season is the defense he’s part of is horrendous. They’re not playing well as a collective unit in front of their goaltenders, and you can’t let him avoid all of the blame for that.
The Predators take a lot of risks offensively, as does Josi as a defenseman. He’s essentially another scoring forward out there rather than being a defenseman at all times. You take the sometimes bad with the extraordinary dynamic offensive abilities he brings.
I’m hoping Josi can claim his first Norris Trophy later this season and give us something to celebrate about this season. I’m just not sure he’s enough to keep the Predators from fading anymore down the stretch now with a new head coach being brought in.
Let’s just be extremely grateful that we do get the privilege to watch Josi play hockey here in Nashville and that he should be here for several years to come.
ROMAN JOSIDefenseman, Nashville Predators