The Nashville Predators have won three straight, thanks in part to the efforts of Filip Forsberg, arguably their best pure goal scorer and most lethal forward every night.
While Juuse Saros has been the most important player for the Preds over the last couple weeks, effectively taking over as the new starting goaltender for Nashville, he still can’t do everything. The team has struggled to score goals with consistency, especially the top, highest paid forwards. The disappearing act that guys like Matt Duchene, Ryan Johansen, and Filip Forsberg have put on has been frustrating to watch.
Well, go ahead and mark Filip Forsberg as present and accounted for in last night’s 4-2 win over the Canadiens.
Forsberg scored two goals in the 2nd period, including one on the power play, to power the Preds’ four goal outburst in the middle frame against the Habs. He also added an assist on Ryan Johansen’s game opening goal, giving Forsberg his first three point game this season.
Grip it and rip it, Forsberg. 😤
(🎥 TSN) pic.twitter.com/2XyQAwV7vv
— AtoZSports Nashville (@AtoZSports) March 11, 2020
Forsberg was absolutely lethal last night. Finishing with five shots in 20:11, his offensive vision helped change the game for the Preds and his wrist shot was in prime form.
It’s the kind of effort and production we expect to see every night from Filip Forsberg, so it was nice to finally see it after the last month he’s had. Forsberg went over a month without a goal this winter, scoring twice on January 30th, then not again until March 5th against Dallas.
Despite his lack of production over the last several weeks, Filip Forsberg reached two milestones last night that demonstrate his importance and consistency for the Preds in his career.
Forsberg reaches two key milestones
The first milestone Forsberg reached last night was earning his 6th season with at least 20 goals. He passed Craig Smith for the franchise lead, who by the way is only two goals away from his 6th 20-goal season.
The most 20-goal seasons for the #Preds now:
Forsberg – 6
Smith – 5
Hornqvist – 4
Five different players with 3 https://t.co/bT0536QkLv
— Alex Daugherty (@AlexDaugherty1) March 11, 2020
Collecting 20 goals in a season may not mean what it used to in the NHL, but it’s still an impressive feat. And for the Nashville Predators, who lacked a real goal scoring threat for the first decade of their existence, it’s franchise altering.
The other milestone Filip Forsberg reached last night was tying Shea Weber for most goals by a Nashville Predators player. Forsberg’s 2nd goal was his 166th for Nashville, putting him right next to the Predators’ popular former captain on the scoring list. Forsberg passed Martin Erat for 3rd on the franchise scoring list last Thursday, a moment which probably gave many Preds fans a smirk; Forsberg was acquired for Martin Erat and Michael Latta back in 2013.
Filip Forsberg just passed Martin Erat on the #Preds all-time goal scoring list.
Hmm, why does that name ring a bell? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/r3bom49Lop
— Alex Daugherty (@AlexDaugherty1) March 6, 2020
Forsberg now trails only David Legwand on the franchise scoring list. Legwand finished with 210 goals, a mark that Filip Forsberg will surely pass by the end of his current contract (he’s under contract through the 2021-22 season).
It’s important to point out that Filip Forsberg is passing all of these franchise scoring records at a much younger age, and at a much faster rate, than the folks he’s passing. At only 25 years old, he has the 2nd highest goals per game rate (.36) in Predators history among players with at least 50 goals. He trails only Jason Arnott (.39) in that category.
At the end of the day, the true worth of Filip Forsberg is in his ability to help the Nashville Predators win games. Ultimately, it will be his ability to catapult the Preds to the playoffs and help them win a Stanley Cup that will be the true test of his impact on the franchise. But even if that doesn’t work out, it’s been remarkable to watch him alter the team’s record books in only a few years in the league.
— Featured image via Perry Nelson/USA TODAY Sports —