Roman Josi had another record breaking performance last night for the Nashville Predators.
Last night in the Preds’ 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators, Josi collected three more assists, bringing his season points total to 87. In the process, he broke the Preds’ previous record for points in a season with 86, passing Paul Kariya’s 85 points set back in 2005-06.
Roman Josi destroyed this puck. This incredible goal sets the #Preds record for most points in a season, which is very fitting.— Alex Daugherty (@AlexDaugherty1) April 8, 2022
He's the best defenseman in the league by a mile (high). pic.twitter.com/hWIPCgyqA4
Though he’s been on pace to break the record for a while now, it’s been remarkable to watch him do it. Mostly because he’s not just getting one or two points here and there. He’s putting up multi-point games on a nightly basis, hammering home impressive looking goals, and dishing highlight reel assists in key moments.
It’s like every time there’s even a sliver of doubt that Josi isn’t the best defenseman in the league, he breaks another record.
Yet another thing that Josi excels at: proving the haters wrong.
Just for posterity, here’s a list of accomplishments for Roman Josi this year so far:
- Broke the franchise record for assists in a career on January 20th. He has 397 career assists, the previous record was David Legwand’s 356.
- Broke the Preds’ record for assists in a season, previously set at 54. He has 68.
- Currently scoring at 1.28 points per game pace, the highest ever for a Nashville Predators defenseman.
- As mentioned, last night he broke the single season scored record. He now has 87 points this season with 12 games left.
- Finished 12 games with 3 or more points. No other defenseman has more than seven, and only three forwards (Draisaitl, Tkachuk, Gaudreau) have more than Josi.
- Finished four games with four or more points. Best for any defenseman in the league. Only Draisaitl and Huberdeau have more games with four or more points.
- His 13-game point streak between March 2nd and March 27th broke the record for longest point streak by a Nashville Predators defenseman.
- On pace to record the first 100 point season by a defenseman since 1992 (Brian Leetch). Already has more points in a season than any defenseman since 1996.
- He’s the heavy favorite to win his 2nd Norris Trophy, which would make him the first Nashville Predators player to win two major player awards.
On that last point, there’s still no guarantee that Roman Josi wins the Norris Trophy. Cale Makar’s season is also quite remarkable. But Josi now has a 12-point lead on Makar, plus he’s starting to capture all of the attention in the race. Don’t discount the power of narrative in these races: if Josi is on the tongue of all the national talking heads when it comes to the Norris Trophy race, and then he finishes with more points than the other guys, he’s probably winning it.
At this point, it feels like it’s Josi’s trophy to lose.
Last night, Josi talked about whether he’s able to appreciate the remarkable season he’s having.
“You don’t really have time to kind of settle down and reflect,” Josi said after the game. “But I think at some point when the season’s over or later, I’ll definitely appreciate this. It’s good for players or teams if it’s a win, but for other accomplishments it’s always good to be happy about those. It’s such a fun game we play, we play the best game in the world. You’ve got to enjoy those moments.”
Josi, the Preds’ captain, knows there’s much more important things to accomplish for this team. But it’s impossible to ignore seasons like the one he’s having and what it means for him personally.
“Obviously right now, you’re caught up in the season, that’s what you’re focused on. But I’ll definitely appreciate it when I look back at some point.”
— Featured image via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports —