There is little to complain about with the 7-1-1 Nashville Predators who sit atop the Western Conference standings. Scoring is coming from all four lines, the defense is living up to the hype and star goaltender Pekka Rinne is playing lights out.
However, there is one bothersome stat for the Predators. Cody Hodgson is the only player that has played in all nine games to not have a point this season.
Hodgson, who was signed to a one-year, $1.05 million contract this offseason, has been rather ineffective so far in a season that could determine his fate in the league. The Buffalo Sabres bought Hodgson out of the four remaining years of a six-year, $25.5 million contract after coming off a career-low season in 2014-15. In 78 games, he scored just six goals and seven assists.
As of now, the 25-year-old is on pace for another disappointing season.
Hodgson’s linemates have been right-winger Calle Jarnkrok and left-wingers Viktor Arvidsson and Gabriel Bourque. Arvidsson has one goal in four games, Bourque an assist in nine games and Jarnkrok a goal and an assist in nine games. Yet, Hodgson has been unable to get on the score-sheet.
The faceoff dot has not been kind to Hodgson, either. He has won just 45.1-percent (37-of-82) at the dot.
A possible reason for Hodgson’s slow start is because of an upper-body injury that forced him to miss a majority of training camp.
“I’m just trying to fit in and do well with the team,” Hodgson told The Tennessean Wednesday. “I think as a team, we’re doing well and that’s the important thing. Obviously, I’d like to contribute more offensively like I know I can, but I think that’ll come. We’ve had some good opportunities and missed a couple point blank, but overall, I think our line’s creating energy and contributing to victories.”
While Hodgson has not been great, he has not been bad. And that is all you can ask from a third line center. His time will come.
Colin Fitts is a Nashville Predators staff writer and is a credentialed media member of the Chicago Wolves. From Nashville, Tennessee, Colin majors in journalism and public relations at Columbia College Chicago. Follow him on Twitter, @FittsTHW. Email: 22fitts [at] gmail [dot] com.