Nashville Predators Forsberg Leads Scoring in Nonconventional Fashion
The Nashville Predators expected big points from their young star winger this season, but things haven’t quite gone as planned.
The Nashville Predators took a big step towards securing the offense of their future when they re-signed 22-year-old Filip Forsberg in the offseason. With the deal ringing in at 6 years for $36 million dollars, the winger became the top-paid forward on the roster.
Last year saw Forsberg tying a franchise record with 33 goals- to which he tacked on an additional 31 assists for a career high 64 points. It marked the first 30 goal season of the young player’s career, but managed to be the second straight year in which the Swedish Sniper led the team in total scoring.
Thirteen games into the 2016-17 campaign Forsberg once again sits atop the team’s scoring totals, though this time his numbers have been achieved with significantly less sniping. Entering Saturday night’s contest the forward sits with 9 points, all of which come via assists. The total comes in one point above the efforts of both P.K. Subban (3 G, 5A) and James Neal (4 G, 4 A).
One of the bigger storylines for the team as the season moves forward, Forsberg has yet to hit the back of net, registering zero goals thus far. His 24 shots-on-goal put him 7th on the team in that category.
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Though the rifle may not be connecting, it doesn’t necessarily mean he isn’t getting work done. The left-winger has looked good in terms of puck possession and registered 6 of his 9 points at even-strength, helping to push the team through early season 5-on-5 struggles. What’s more, he’s helping to add a consistent threat by playing from a depth position with the Nashville Predators.
Forsberg, who began the season as a top-line guy, now finds himself anchoring the team’s third forward line, from which he has been producing despite rotating linemates. Whether the center has been Calle Jarnkrok or Mike Fisher, and with his opposite wing rotating between two young skaters trying to make the jump from the AHL in Kevin Fiala and Pontus Aberg– Forsberg has been maintaining the team lead in points despite playing predominantly with depth talent.
While the appointment to the third line could be considered a demotion, it has worked out well for the Nashville Predators. Sitting in the midst of a five-game point streak, Viktor Arvidsson‘s speed has proved an asset at the top line left wing position alongside Ryan Johansen and James Neal, while Colin Wilson has built undeniable chemistry with Mike Ribeiro and Craig Smith on the second line.
This has left the talented Forsberg to produce whatever he can with the best of the rest, and he’s proven up to the task thus far. Once the goals start coming for the Swedish Sniper, and they will- the Nashville Predators should be able to keep legitimate scoring threats on the ice throughout a three line rotation, putting significant pressure on the opponent’s defense.
It appears that tonight Forsberg will have the opportunity to go work against the 7-5-3 Anaheim Ducks with Calle Jarnkrok and Captain Mike Fisher as his ice mates. We predict that his first puck hits the net tonight, and it comes in the form of a game-winner.