While he doesn't post eyebrow-raising offensive numbers, David Legwand's competitiveness showed up in some very unconventional ways during the 2012 playoffs. His contributions to the Predators' success are essential, even if sometimes overlooked.
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Like Mike Fisher, David Legwand posted his second-best offensive season in 2011-2012. While continuing to lead the way with franchise career scoring records (he ranks first in Goals, Assists and Total Points in both regular season and playoffs for Nashville), he passed the 500-point mark on March 31 with a two-assist effort against Chicago.
Unlike Fisher, however, Legwand fared well in the post-season, with 3 goals and 3 assists to lead the Predators in playoff scoring.
Perhaps what made Leggy's playoff run unique, however, were a trio of unusual plays with his hands; grabbing Detroit's Johan Franzen from the bench (resulting in minor penalties for each of them), covering a loose puck in Pekka Rinne's crease then smuggling it off the ice to avoid giving the Red Wings a penalty shot, and lastly throwing a puck from behind the net into the slot, where Coyotes winger Radim Vrbata converted it into an easy goal. Any one of those plays would have made the all-playoff blooper reel, but to have all three in one post-season makes for quite a tale.
For two seasons in a row, Legwand has been Nashville's top forward at driving the flow of play in a positive direction, as reflected in the balance of Total Shots For & Against, once adjusted for an individual's workload (whether they get more shifts starting in the offensive or defensive zone). Since the Preds were one of the weakest teams in the league in the possession metrics, that makes his performance all the more essential to the team's chances for success.
At age 32, there should be plenty of tread left on Leggy's tires, and perhaps a shortened season might serve to narrow his focus (it does seem that he can slip into a funk and go weeks without scoring). Expect him to, as usual, rank among Nashville's second tier of scorers, but play a key role in 5-on-5, power play, and penalty killing.
Playing a full 48 games at the pace of a 20-goal scorer in a typical full NHL season would just allow Legwand to reach the milestone of 200 career goals. Will he make it?