Roman Josi – the Predators’ Defensive Centurion

Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images

The Nashville Predators just concluded a historic game point streak this week with a remarkable 16-1-2 record and look to be an odds-on favorite to lock in at least a wild-card playoff spot when the regular season ends in three weeks. How did this team go from a Central Division afterthought to an NHL heavyweight in just a couple of short months? The answer may be as simple as looking at the style and leadership of Roman Josi as the cornerstone in the Predators’ recent return to relevancy.

Roman Josi has been a long-standing anchor in the Nashville nightly lineup for years, and the 2020 Norris Trophy winner has found himself again in the Norris Trophy mix this season. While Josi doesn’t necessarily get the limelight of a Quinn Hughes or a Cale Makar, Josi lives up to his first name and serves as the Predators’ defensive centurion, guarding the blue line every game and leading the attack when needed. When the Nashville defense is the topic of a conversation, the name Roman Josi is synonymous with the term Predators defense. Josi wears the Nashville “C” on his sweater, and this might as well represent the term Centurion because Josi leads this franchise on the ice like a grizzled, wise old Roman centurion military commander.

The Best Defense is a Strong Offense.

Roman Josi epitomizes the concept that the best defense is having a strong offensive attack. As of March 24th, Josi has skated the fourth most miles in the NHL (253.19 miles) on the ice, fired off the fourth most shots over 90 miles per hour (44), and has the third most long-range goals (seven.) A blue liner who can literally add firepower to the Predators’ offensive zone attack is worth more than his weight in gold and Roman Josi earns the captain’s “C” each night not only with his defensive mindset and strategic playmaking but his presence in the offensive zone makes him the complete hockey centurion.

Never mind the fact that Roman Josi is the second-leading scorer on the entire Nashville bench. Josi has helped light the goal lamp with 19 goals and 57 assists this season and currently leads NHL defensemen in goals scored with a +16 rating. Josi’s dominating defensive play, combined with his offensive star qualities, makes him not only Nashville’s most valuable player but one of the dominant forces in the NHL season after season. The Predators made the Stanley Cup playoffs eight years in a row and missed the postseason last year; with Roman Josi at the helm as the Preds’ centurion, they are one of the emerging powerhouses coming out of the end of the season in the Western Conference.

Mike Gambill

I'm a retired high school teacher and former coach who enjoys sports writing as a way of expressing my continued passion for the game. I try to bring a bit of a technical side to my articles, as well as keeping a bit of sarcastic humor alive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Flyers’ Playoff Hopes Stay Alive After Defeating Rangers 4-1 | 4/11/2024

If you were looking for the Flyers to show a pulse, you got that tonight. Less than five minutes in, Cam York scored on the counter rush. Flyers fans could finally breathe a sigh of relief. It was clear immediately: they brought their A-game. Two things stuck out to me as I watched the game […]

Read More

Devils Defeat Maple Leafs 6-5, Matthews Scores 68th | 4/11/2024

Jesper Bratt scored the go-ahead goal for New Jersey to secure a 6-5 victory on Thursday, April 11th at the Scotiabank Arena. The Devils had already been eliminated from playoff contention last game, which was on Tuesday at home that had also been against the Maple Leafs. Auston Matthews scored both his 67th and 68th […]

Read More

Denver Wins in Thrilling Frozen Four Opener Against Boston University

It’s a thrilling time of year in collegiate hockey as the nation’s top teams gear up for the Frozen Four. Denver University and Boston University kicked off the tournament with a bang. With a collective 51 draft picks between the four competing teams, anticipation was high as standout players like Lane Hutson, Macklin Celebrini, and […]

Read More