The spotlight has been on 20-year old forward Filip Forsberg since the day he was traded to Nashville on April 3, 2013, and this season that spotlight has been full-beam since opening night of this year’s season.
The Nashville Predators’ forward is tied at the top among all NHL rookies in point totals with his seven points in seven games so far this season. To describe his play in one word, I think most could agree in saying that it has been ‘tremendous’.
Forsberg also sits atop NHL rookies in the assists category with six so far this season and also has the best +/- rating among rookies with a +9 rating.
With that being said, Forsberg is focused on the team’s success and continuing on the successful start so far to Nashville’s season.
In talking with Forsberg after today’s morning skate, I asked him if he pays attention to his stats in comparison to other rookies around the league and the the initial answer was a simple, “no.” Forsberg then jokingly said “you guys in the media sometimes remind me”, then continued in saying “but I am just trying to help the team and if I can do that by scoring goals and getting points, I’m really happy with that. It doesn’t really matter if I’m scoring or if someone else is, its all about the team.”
Obviously, the 2014-15 NHL season is very young, but while sitting atop the points list among all rookies and leading rookies in the assists category even seven games into the season, some are saying that he could be a player to watch to win the Calder Trophy this season (NHL rookie of the year). Forsberg again reiterated that something like that is something he doesn’t think about, saying “No not at all, I don’t even know how that rookie thing really works, if I’m a rookie since I played games last year, but that’s really nothing I think about at all.”
“I am just trying to help the team and if I can do that by scoring goals and getting points, I’m really happy with that. It doesn’t really matter, if I’m scoring or if someone else is, its all about the team.” – Predators forward Filip Forsberg
A very honest statement in saying that he doesn’t even really know how the NHL rookie thing works, showing that it truly is nothing he pays attention to and that his focus is solely on the team’s success. Forsberg is considered a rookie this season seeing how prior to the start of this season he had not played in more than 25 NHL games.
Along with Forsberg starting the season aflame, the team has also gotten off to a fantastic start seeing that they are the only team in the NHL without a loss in regulation. Forsberg spoke about the success the team has had so far and how “playing hard” has been a key to the success Nashville has seen to begin the season.
The first-line winger said, “We’ve been playing really good, we just have to keep playing like that. The team has been really successful so far; we’ve been playing really hard and if we change that we’re not going to be as successful. We just have to keep playing as hard as we’ve been [playing] and hopefully we can keep being successful.”
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The Predators have another tough test tonight in trying to keep that success going with the Pittsburgh Penguins making their way to Nashville tonight. Every team in the NHL has some offensive flare, but the Predators have arguably gone up against the two best offensive teams, personnel wise, in the league in their last two games with the win over Chicago on Thursday night and tonight’s match up against the Penguins.
How does the game plan for the Predators change tonight in comparison to the Chicago game two nights ago? Not all that much, according to Forsberg. He said, “Obviously you have to be a little more careful with the puck, if you lose it in the wrong spots they’re going to take advantage of that. But, it’s hockey, you don’t want to be thinking too much , you just have to play and when you’re thinking too much usually goals are going to be scored. You just have to keep playing with your instincts.”
Tonight will be the second time in Forsberg’s career going up against Sidney Crosby, arguably the best hockey player on the planet, and Forbserg spoke about going up against Crosby in tonight’s match up. “Yeah, he’s probably the best player in this league. You just have to keep playing really hard on him, if he gets time he’s going to make some nice plays. You want to try and be close to him all the time and really finish the checks when we get the time to.”
Forsberg and the Predators will have their hands full with a talented Pittsburgh team in town tonight as the Penguins look to spoil the Predators’ fast start to the season.
Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. CST.