The element of surprise has long been extinct when Viktor Arvidsson finds the back of the net.
He's done it 25 times this season, obliterating his previous career high of eight, and his 25th, which came Thursday night in overtime in Washington, may have been his most important of the campaign.
It's not the most memorable of his career, however - that belongs to his OT winner to force Game Seven in the Second Round of last spring's postseason run - but it's moments like that, which have led Arvidsson to his breakout over the past five months.
And while there may still be an ounce of disbelief present that he's put up these types of numbers less than three years after he was selected by the Preds in the fourth round of the NHL Draft, it's dwindling. Quickly.
"I remember seeing Arvi when he first came into the organization, and we sat down at the very first meeting and told him that there's something there," Head Coach Peter Laviolette said Friday from the team hotel in Raleigh, North Carolina. "You can just see it in his explosiveness and the way he wanted to shoot the puck. He was such a hard worker, and you could tell that it could possibly translate."
Has it ever.
Arvidsson has 21 points (13g-8a) in his last 20 contests and has 12 multi-point games this season. He's also been particularly impressive as a penalty killer, currently tied for the League-lead with four shorthanded goals, which equals a Nashville franchise record for most in a single season.
"I think that there's always that first year where you have a really big impact, but this is what he's done - he led our minor league team in scoring, he's led other teams in scoring and he's proven himself at every level," Laviolette said. "He's proving himself, and I think he's had a terrific year to this point. You don't know how terrific it's ultimately going to be, but I would say that [his numbers] don't surprise me that much."
"I believed in myself, but of course, I'm happy to be playing well," Arvidsson said. "The team is doing well too, and I just believe in myself and I believe I can do it."
There aren't any who don't believe at this point, and while his numbers show he belongs in the NHL, there's always more to prove. That's what Arvidsson has done his entire career, no matter which side of the Atlantic he's called home.
Arvidsson's tireless efforts that often result in jubilation not often seen from most other NHLers? Sure, but surprise? Not a chance.
"His speed and his scoring touch, which has just exploded this year, has been a huge factor of us winning games," center Ryan Johansen said. "He's been our Energizer Bunny."
Laviolette Talks OT Winner:
Video: NSH@WSH: Arvidsson fires OT winner past Holtby
It was Viktor Arvidsson who got most of the credit for tallying Nashville's OT winner on Thursday night in Washington, and rightfully so, but Ryan Johansen set the whole thing up. Here's what Coach Laviolette had to say about the play that sent the Preds out of D.C. with two more points than they had upon arrival:
"It was a really nice play by Joey to stretch the zones out and bring everything backward to look for a quick hit. He was able to suck one person in and then try and bring it back far enough to let them think that they could change, and then quick up for a 2-on-1. I think Arvi made the right decision on that 2-on-1; he was looking pass and it kept getting taken away. It was just a really heads up play, beautiful shot and a big goal at the time."
Admirals Sign Hobey Baker Finalist:
The Milwaukee Admirals made a move on Friday, inking forward Tyler Kelleher to an AHL contract for the remainder of this season and the 2017-18 campaign. Nashville's AHL affiliate landed a player who is a finalist for this year's Hobey Baker Award, given annually to college hockey's top player.
Kelleher led the New Hampshire Wildcats with 24 goals and 63 points this season, a point total that tied for the NCAA lead this season. The Massachusetts native also lead the nation in assists with 39 and tied for fifth in goals and third in power-play tallies.