Leading up to the lockout-shortened season, we will be providing 2012-13 previews for each player. In no specific order, we continue with Martin Erat today…
Martin Erat, who missed eight of the season’s first nine games, led the Predators with a quiet 58 points, once again showing his value with offensive consistency. Alongside Mike Fisher and Sergei Kostitsyn on the Predators’ top line for most of the season, Erat was a steady producer throughout.
Erat averaged over a point per game from Jan. 7 through Mar. 20 with 34 points in 33 games, but his production wavered down the stretch. In the final 16 games, including the playoffs, Erat tallied just five points as the top line struggled in postseason play. That doesn’t overshadow what he did over the course of 2012-13, though. It was his eighth straight season finishing with at least 49 points, and the 58-point output was a career high.
Erat gave serious thought to going to Europe early on in the lockout, but ultimately decided to stay in Nashville.
At this point we know what to expect from Erat. He’s been a consistent producer for the last eight seasons, will likely miss a handful of games due to injury and is reliable on both ends of the ice. It seems like he’s been in the organization forever, but Erat is only 31 years old. He still has some mileage left in the tank.
Assuming Trotz sticks with familiarity during a shortened season (at least to start), I would expect Erat to be on a line with Fisher and Kostitsyn. If that is the case and all three can stay healthy, they should once again be a formidable trio. The biggest question is whether they can continue that kind of success into the spring.