A s a team, the Nashville Predators scored 3 goals in their entire California road trip.
The Predators were – and still are – the lowest scoring team in the NHL. The goals that have come so far in this shortened season have been rare.
The team has been shut out 5 times in the first 24 games of the season. In 82 games last season, they were shut out all of 3 times.
Needless to say, it’s been hard for Nashville to score.
This offensive futility is why Colin Wilson’s 4-point outburst in Nashville’s 6-0 win over Edmonton on Friday night – the second 4-point game by a Predator in the last two weeks – comes as such a surprise.
Wilson has always been regarded as a scoring player, but – until this year – there was a feeling of unreached potential. This season, however, Wilson appears to have finally bought in and to have finally tapped in to the skill that made him a Hobey Baker Award finalist at Boston University.
At the halfway point of the season, Wilson has easily been Nashville’s best offensive weapon and – perhaps with Gabriel Bourque – one of Nashville’s only offensive weapons.
On Friday night at Bridgestone Arena, Wilson had the best night of his young career.
In the first period of the contest, during a power play, Wilson delivered the puck Patric Hornqvist on the other side of the crease to put Nashville up 1-0.
Towards the end of the period, Wilson was credited with his second assist on a goal from David Legwand that can only be described as bizarre and vaguely R.A. Dickey-esque.
In the third period, Wilson registered two goals. On the first, he drove into the corner and circled back to the net.
His second goal, completing his four point night, came on the power play.
Nashville head coach Barry Trotz was especially pleased with Wilson’s performance – a performance in which Wilson was awarded the first star.
“When Wilson was chugging the way he was tonight, really working, he can make big things happen,” Trotz said. “A good illustration was the first goal he had. He spun off in the corner, determined to get to the hard area, and was rewarded. He got rewarded again on the power play. He made a couple of good plays with the assists. When he is determined like that, on both ends of the ice, he is a real good player.”
Wilson’s previous career best scoring output was a 1 goal, 2 assist performance at Vancouver on December 1, 2011. His 2 goals and 2 assists give him a team leading 19 points, with 7 goals and 12 assists. He leads the team in both goals and assists. He is currently on pace for a career best 38 points.
Photo Credit: Sarah Fuqua