It’s easy to forget that Filip Forsberg was just 22 this past season as the winger featured on the Preadtors’ top line all season. Despite accumulating fewer points than the previous two season, Forsberg was able to contribute to the team more on both ends of the ice, rather than just on the attacking side.
Forsberg had fewer goals, fewer assists, fewer points, and his worst plus/minus since he joined Nashville from the Washington Capitals in 2013. However, Forsberg had far from his worst season with the Predators. The winger still contributed 31 goals, 27 assists, which totaled 58 points in 82 games.
An interesting side note, since the 2014/2015 season, Forsberg’s first full season playing in the NHL with the Predators, he hasn’t missed a single game in the regular season. And, after accumulating six fewer points in the ‘16/’17 season and a -4 plus/minus rating, it’s interesting to see that Forsberg averaged half a minute less than the previous season (19:03 in ‘15/’16, 18:31 in ‘16/’17).
While Forsberg’s numbers during the regular season might have been below many fan’s expectations, his postseason numbers were incredible. Forsberg netted nine goals, and added seven assists and a +14 plus/minus rating.
His nine goals in the postseason was a franchise record, as was his 16 points. Even though he wasn’t as involved as he could’ve been in the Stanley Cup Final against Pittsburgh—he only scored one goal and had no assists—he got invaluable experience playing as a top line forward against a great team.
Peter Laviolette’s decision to cut Fil’s minutes by a little, while keeping him on the top line, will only benefit the sniping Swede.
Best Moment of the Season
First, against the Flames. This is incredible on so many levels. He scores all three goals to earn the hat-trick in one period. The Preds trailed 4-1, but thanks to Forsberg, they took a 5-4 lead in the span of 20 minutes. Also the dangles on the first goal, and the awareness on the second and third goal, makes young Filip look like a 10-year veteran.
And then two days later in Colorado, another hatty. In the span of a few days, Forsberg scored five goals in the second period, six total, helping the Preds to come back against the Avs and the Flames.
Also, can we all agree how amazing Forsberg is at sniping long empty netters?
BONUS Best Moment
Forsberg’s two-goal comeback against the Blackhawks in Game 3 of the quarterfinals.
I wanted to include the empty net goal in Game 6 against the Ducks in the Western Conference Final, but I felt like the two goals he scored against the Hawks to tie the game in the third and force it to overtime was better.
Can we start calling him Mr. Clutch now? I think it’s more than well-deserved.
Worst Moment of the Season
The offside call against the Penguins in Game 1 of the Final.
This, of course, really isn’t directly his fault, but because he was involved, it makes it the worst moment of his entire season. I still don’t understand how this was deemed offside, and I doubt I ever will.
Trending Up or Down?
Forsberg is trending way up. He’ll only get better as he gets older and with five years left on his contract, I don’t expect him to have his role reduced while Lavy is at the helm.
He works really well with Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson. With these two guys drawing more and more attention, Forsberg should have more space on the wings to get shots off. Not to mention his uncanny ability to score the late game tying or game winning goal (he scored nine game winners this season) makes him invaluable to the Predators attack.
As it stands right now, Forsberg is the best scoring threat the Preds have with the departure of James Neal. I’m sure there’s nothing but big things to come for Fil in the coming seasons.
FINAL GRADE: A-
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