Martin Erat Season Preview: An "A" For Effort

Frederick Breedon

He stands second to David Legwand in the major career statistical categories for the Nashville Predators (games played, goals, assists, total points), and this season Martin Erat has been named part of the team's leadership group. Coming off his finest season to date, the Czech winger can hopefully show the way for his younger teammates.


Martin Erat

#10 / Left Wing / Nashville Predators

6-0

201

Aug 29, 1981


GP

Goals

Assists

Points

+/-

PIM

Shots

Avg Ice Time

2011-12

71

19

39

58

+12

30

107

18:29

Career

687

159

301

460

+12

400

1257

16:48

Last Season

Marty is the model of consistency, having totaled between 49 and 57 points for seven straight seasons, before blowing the roof off with a 58-point effort in 2011-2012 (I kid, I kid). While he's not the most boisterous, flashiest guy on the ice, his dagger-in-the-heart goal against Columbus on December 22nd (capping off a 6-5 comeback win) showed Erat at his most enthusiastic:


Of course, his mesmerizing puckhandling skills led to a dandy assist in the playoffs, too:


Outlook

As a newly-ordained alternate captain, Erat will be relied upon as a leader for a young group of forwards who are still finding their way in the NHL. As we've seen for the last few years, he'll play a ton against other teams' top lines, skate on the top power play unit, and chip in as a secondary figure on the penalty kill (where he's highly underrated).

At this point in his career (he's only 31, but it seems like he's been around forever) it's not about fulfilling any untapped potential so much as delivering on what he's established himself as - a legitimate top-line winger who can create offensive opportunities while taking care of business on the defensive end.

The Question

In each of the last six seasons he's missed at least 8 games. Can Marty withstand the condensed schedule, and play a full 48-games (or something close to it)?

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