Roman Josi’s Resurgent Season is Leading the Predators to the Playoffs; Norris for Himself

Roman Josi having a quietly underrated season for the Nashville Predators.

The 31 year old, Swiss born defenceman is quietly having the best season of his 11 year NHL career as he and the rest of the Predators are clinging on to one of the two Wild Card spots in the Western Conference.

Nashville’s playoff hopes hit a bit of a snag during Tuesday’s 6-1 loss over the Los Angeles Kings, but Josi still managed to record a point on the lone Phil Tomasino goal just 3:33 into the second period.

With his point on the night, Josi extends his personal point streak to 11 games as he has picked up 25(!) points in that span. Josi has completely obliterated his previous career highs in goals, assists and points in a season.

With 18 goals and 60 assists so far in the 2021-2022 season, his 78 point return in 82 games leads the team and also puts Josi on pace for 103 points this season, and even with the type of season that he is producing he still has a chance to lose out on the Norris Trophy this season to Cale Makar who has 71 points in only 59 games.

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Brian Leetch was the last defenceman to score 100 points in a season in the NHL, he reached that mark in the 1991-1992 season with the New York Rangers, Roman Josi could be the first defenceman in close to 30 years to reach the elusive 100 point plateau.

His offensive play would need to remain at the same level or not taper off too much for the rest of the season if he wants any shot to hit the mark.

Josi’s offensive abilities is also paying off on other players as well with teammates Matt Duchene and Filip Forsberg also having very productive seasons after a few down seasons in Nashville.

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Both Duchene and Forsberg are within arms reach of their previous career highs, with Forsberg just a point off a career best 64 points set back in 2017-2018.

The case for the best defenceman in the NHL is looking like it is coming down to two players, Makar and Josi. While it was expected that Rangers defenceman Adam Fox would be making a run for this years Norris vote, he has cooled off after a fiery start to his campaign and would need to produce at an extraordinary rate to catch up to the other two.

It could be argued that in terms of better defencemen this year Josi, a one-time Norris winner back in 2019-2020, brings more to his team than Makar, last year’s Norris recipient.

Makar is on a team loaded with more offensive firepower than the U.S military, so is it really such a surprise that he is putting up the points that he has? No, what would be more surprising is if he wasn’t in the top three finalists for the Norris trophy every year he gets to play with the likes of Mackinnon, Rantanen, Landeskog, Kadri Girard and Toews.

That is not to discredit the phenomenal season that Makar is having, with countless of the 22 goals he has scored this season so far ending up on highlight reels for the next month, but what Josi brings the Predators is what separates them from making or missing the postseason this year.

While Makar is 8 years younger than Josi, he still has plenty of time to improve and put up ridiculous point totals and perhaps become one of the best defensemen of the generation, the season that Josi is producing is nothing short of heroic as he should be considered the best defenceman in the NHL for this season.


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