Colin Wilson returned to Nashville’s lineup on Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena after missing the previous three games due to an upper body injury.
At 13:16 of the first period, with the Predators up 1-0 over the visiting Carolina Hurricanes, Wilson had the second assist on a Craig Smith goal which put Nashville up by two.
“I think it always helps to get you back offensively,” Wilson said. “It gets you more confident getting the assist. It was more a great play by Leggy, but it was great to get in on the goal.”
In the week that Wilson sat out, the Predators won two of the three games. However, with Wilson out of the lineup, the team did not manage to score a power play goal. In his first game back, however, the team scored four – the second most in Bridgestone Arena history.
“It felt good,” Wilson said. “I was really excited to get back. It’s nice to get it in at home. It felt really good – it’s hard sitting out.”
With 17:33 of ice time, Wilson put up two shots, had a hit and two takeaways. In addition, he played 3:04 on the aforementioned power play which went a remarkable 4-for-5 on the night.
While Wilson was not necessarily the catalyst to the power play, he was definitely a missed presence as 11 of his 23 points this season have come via the man advantage.
“You want to contribute when you get back,” Wilson said. “Being able to win while I was in there makes it a little bit better and gets my confidence up.”
The Predators were able to pull the lead out to 4-0 over Carolina before ending the game with the 5-2 win.
“I felt great out there,” Wilson said. “Everything’s healed up. Everything feels good. We’ll just go on from here.”
The game marked the halfway point of the season for the Predators. For Wilson, the season was tagged as a make or break year. During last season’s playoffs, he found himself riding the bench. Barry Trotz accused him of being complacent and let him know that he needed to turn his game around.
Last season, Wilson finished with 34 points – 15 goals and 18 assists. This season, while Wilson’s 8 goals put him roughly on pace for the same goal total, he has nearly the same amount of assists – 15 – and the season is only halfway complete.
For Wilson, he attributes the different between the to seasons to confidence.
“It feels a lot better,” Wilson said. “I’ve been seeing the ice a lot better. For me, it’s all about confidence. After playing a lot of games now, I just feel a lot better out there.”