Concern #2: Players Coming Back down to Earth
It was truly something to behold last season watching so many players have career years including Roman Josi, Matt Duchene and Filip Forsberg. Not to mention Tanner Jeannot breaking out, Yakov Trenin finding his offense, Juuse Saros getting his first Vezina Trophy nomination, and Philip Tomasino showing at a young age he’s ready for the NHL.
Watching Duchene and Forsberg go back and forth for the single season goal record was phenomenal to see. Can we get an encore? Possibly, but I’m not banking on it.
Forsberg had his highest shooting percentage of his career at 18.4, while Duchene had his second-highest at 18.9. They might very well regress to the mean and not see as many goals break their way.
So much broke in the right direction for the Predators, and although you can say they made their own luck by playing well, you can also say there was some good fortune involved. Can we count on everything to break the team’s away again this season?
Despite the team seeing so many individually great performances, the Predators still barely scraped by into the playoffs and limped in only to get swept for the first time in franchise history.
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This is my second concern going into the season because realistically we can’t count on all of these players to maintain this high level of production. Someone is going to likely regress from last season, and possibly more than one.
Are the Predators deep enough to make up for a drop off in production from Duchene? What if Forsberg returns back to pre-contract year Forsberg where he was just a 50 to 60-point scorer?
Someone else needs to step up this year to fill the likely drop off that we’re going to see from one of these players mentioned. Cody Glass is a good candidate, and Niederreiter joining the mix certainly helps neutralize any potential dip in production from somewhere else.
Let’s just be honest with ourselves here and realize that last season so many career years made for the team outperforming expectations. Now the bar is raised, and these players will be tasked with doing it all over again at a high level.