For Predators veteran forward David Legwand, speed always has been his main attribute.

It’s a major reason why Nashville drafted him second overall in 1998. And Legwand’s ability to use his wheels and drive back opponents has led to some of the better offensive play by a forward for the Predators recently in what has been a scoring-challenged season.

Legwand has 16 points in his past 18 games and eight points in his past eight, and he is tied for the team lead with 23 points in 41 games.

“David is competing really hard. He knows that he has to carry a lot of the load and is showing his ability,” coach Barry Trotz said. “He’s using his ability on a consistent basis shift-in and shift-out, and you talk about being a real good pro and producing and trying to make a difference. He has been trying to make a difference.”

Earlier in the season, Legwand wasn’t scoring as much. It wasn’t that at age 32 he had lost his skating stride. It was that he wasn’t using his speed to force the play toward the goal. But recently, this mentality has changed somewhat, which has led to a boost in production.

“We’re just getting to the net, I think, and creating those things around the net and finding pucks around the net and putting them in the net,” Legwand said. “Obviously we’ve been doing a little bit of a better job of that the second part of the season.”