There are definitely worse nicknames out there besides one complimenting playoff success.
Colin Wilson has followed a particularly up-and-down trend over the past four seasons with the Predators, statistically speaking.
During the 2013-14 campaign Wilson had 11 goals and 22 assists in 81 regular season games, he followed that up by scoring 20 goals for the first time in his career and posting a career-high 42 points in 77 regular season contests during the 2014-15 season. Following his career year the Predators inked him to a four-year, $15.75 million contract.
Last year, after signing his new contract, Wilson scored just six goals in 64 regular season games for his lowest goal scoring total of his NHL career. Fast forward to this year and the 27-year-old has 12 goals in 60 regular season games.
As mentioned earlier, Wilson’s game, for whatever reason, has followed a very clear up-and-down trend during the regular season.
The playoffs however are a different story.
Wilson has led the Predators in scoring over the past two postseasons with 10 goals and eight assists in 20 games. Many remember Wilson for having a monstrous series against the Blackhawks back in 2014-15 scoring five goals through the first five games of the eventual six-game series loss.
Adam Vingan of The Tennesseean asked Wilson about the nickname:
“I think to an extent, it does do me a disservice,” Wilson said. “I know anytime I do anything — I score a goal, make a play for an assist — somebody goes, ‘Oh, ‘Playoff Wilson’ showed up.’ I feel like I’ve been doing it pretty consistently throughout the year.”
Nothing Wilson said there was wrong. He has been ‘pretty consistent’ throughout the year with 12 goals and 17 assists in 60 games. Plus, it is easy to understand where he is coming from by saying it does him a disservice because this season he’s been finding the back of the net and finding the scoresheet on a relatively consistent basis.
But, if Wilson truly wants to shed the nickname he will need to shed his inconsistent regular seasons as a whole which he hasn’t been able to do over the past four seasons. He can’t score six goals during the regular season then put up 13 points in 14 playoff games like he did a year ago and expect the nickname ‘Playoff Colin Wilson’ to disappear.
The hockey world has read the headlines numerous times of Wilson turning the corner to becoming a more consistent offensive threat for the Predators, but as far as regular season play goes it’s still yet to be seen.
Maybe this is the player Wilson is, a player that is capable of scoring 20 goals in a season but also a player that can go absolutely silent for a long stretch of games. Whether or not that’s the actual case or not, he’s shown over the last two seasons he shines in the spotlight of the playoffs and that’s a weapon the Preds are fortunate to have.
A player that may not play to the level of expectations during the regular season then flip the switch becoming one of the best players on the ice during the playoffs is perfectly fine.
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