Much attention has been focused on the number of injuries the Nashville Predators sustained to their group of forwards in the recently completed 2012-13 regular season. And there is no question that injuries to the likes of Colin Wilson, Gabriel Bourque, Paul Gaustad, Patric Hornqvist and others took their toll on the team, but the fact is that there were other forwards on the team who stayed healthy over the course of the lockout-shortened four month long season, but produced virtually nothing on the offensive end of the ice. At Sunday’s press conference to wrap the season, Predators head coach Barry Trotz alluded to the injury bug that ran through the locker room pretty much from the time the first puck dropped to start the season back in January. “We had basically our skill core wiped off because of injuries and therefore we didn’t get off to where we wanted to be,” Trotz said. “I think we had some subpar performances out of the gate. We weren’t able to score a heck of a lot. We could defend great, but we weren’t scoring a lot.” Truth be told, two forwards who were in the lineup just about every night but could not find the back of the net all season were Craig Smith and Sergei Kostitsyn. In 44 games played this season, Smith had just four goals and eight assists. Half of Smith’s goals came on the power play. As low as those numbers look, they actually were boosted somewhat significantly by the fact that in Nashville's games 46 and 47, he totaled a goal and two assists. A forward getting one quarter of his season’s points long after the team has been eliminated from playoff contention does not do a whole lot of good though. Smith did not score his first goal until his 17th game of the season. He had a 21-game goal-scoring drought that stretched from the beginning of March until the Predators’ penultimate game on April 25th. Coming off a rookie season where he posted 14 goals and 22 assists in 72 games played, the Predators were looking for much more out of Smith in his sophomore campaign.
Given ample opportunities, Craig Smith and Sergei Kostitsyn could not produce
The Examiner | Apr 30