While many Predators players greatly underachieved in the 2019-2020 season, Josi managed to turn in his best season as a pro. His offensive game took a huge step forward, as he recorded 65 points in 69 games, and his all-around efforts won him the Norris Trophy for the first time in his career.
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I did not expect Josi to have nearly as good a season this year, as career seasons are almost impossible to repeat in professional sports. But he was still expected to perform at an elite level, and he has been unable to do that so far this year.
A Season To Forget
Alright, that might be a bit harsh. Josi still clearly possesses elite talent and is performing at a decent level. But compared to what he is capable of, it has been a disappointing season for the captain, and just a rough go around for him overall.
First of all, Josi’s point totals are way down this year, as he has registered a meager16 points, only two of which are goals. His defensive game is still there, but he has been beaten or caught out of position on goals against more frequently than last year.
On top of all that, Josi suffered an injury that is currently sidelining him on a week-to-week basis.
It is plausible to think that his performance has more to do with the rest of the team sinking and having all kinds of trouble putting the puck in the back of the net. After all, it would be difficult for any player to thrive in the Predators’ unsustainable offensive system.
That being said, Josi has taken a noticeable step back this season and has been underwhelming even with the external factors.
Plays Irreplaceable Role For The Nashville Predators
Even with Josi underperforming overall, it is obvious to anyone who watches the Predators how much this team depends on him. He is still the quarterback and facilitator of the offense, and it is understandable when he can score goals such as this one he scored against the Chicago Blackhawks earlier this season.
And even though his base statistics have dipped this season, his Corsi For percentage is up from 52.6 last year to 56.7 this year, and his Fenwick For percentage is up from 53.2 to 56.2. These statistics indicate that the Predators possess the puck way more when Josi is on the ice, and he has played an especially vital role in that regard this season.
As the captain of this team, his leadership is dearly needed, especially in a tumultuous season such as this one.
All things considered, I have decided to give Josi what I believe is a generous grade of B-.
I usually would not do this with most players, but I think Predators fans can agree that Josi deserves a little grace for his down season.
Despite his obvious regression, Josi’s importance to the team cannot be understated. Another thing that cannot be understated is that his talent level is still there.
Josi has also started to pick it up a bit recently, averaging eight points in his final eight games before he was put on injured reserve, thus playing a role in determining his grade.
And of course, how could you not give him some benefit of the doubt due to the team around him?
There is a reason Josi is among the Predators’ three designated untouchables. He is an elite talent who is a tremendous leader and does everything you need him to. One bad year does not define a player, and I expect him to be a core contributor for several years moving forward.