Nashville Predators Sit in Wildcard Spot at Midway Point: Team Awards

Officially at the halfway point of 2023-24, the Nashville Predators sit in a wildcard spot but still have a lot of room for improvement.

Jan 6, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Nashville Predators center Ryan O'Reilly (90) celebrates with his
Jan 6, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Nashville Predators center Ryan O'Reilly (90) celebrates with his / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Filip Forsberg
Nashville Predators v Washington Capitals / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

Team MVP: Filip Forsberg

Easy choice here for the Predators' MVP through the first half of the season. If Forsberg opens the first half of this season rusty, which easily could've been the case after coming off a concussion suffered in February, then this team is down towards the bottom of the standings.

Forsberg has shown up when it counts in critical situations. He's playing with a confidence and poise that I've never seen him play at for this long of a stretch, other than in 2021-22. He has a great chance to surpass those career high totals if he keeps up his current pace.

You saw what happens when Forsberg is held in check, which is rare this season. In Tuesday's 5-3 loss to the Ducks, Forsberg was held without a point, but did have five shots on goal. You take away that threat, and the Predators couldn't find their depth scoring until it was too late for a comeback.

Forsberg has 45 points in 41 games. He has already passed his 42-point total from last season when he only appeared in 50 games before being lost for the season with the concussion.

I would have the Predators pegged as a team destined for a lottery pick if Forsberg wasn't on this team. There are fans who wish that were the case to fuel the rebuild even further, but for now, Forsberg's elite level of play will keep the Predators interesting in the second half.