(9) skates with the puck against the Montreal Canadiens. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
2. Filip Forsberg Looks Ready
Many folks worried that Filip Forsberg could slip into the dreaded Sophomore Slump this season. It is a very real thing that we’ve seen many times before, just ask Nathan MacKinnon of the Avs. Forsberg quickly showed in the preseason why you shouldn’t worry. He scored two goals and two assists in his five games of limited play.
There are other reasons to think that this could be an even better year than his rookie campaign where he scored 26 goals and 63 points. He had 19 points on the Powerplay last season and it was one of the worst in the league. Hoped for improvement this season could add to his points.
James Neal had a very disappointing season last year. It won’t take much for him to improve this year and he’s already come out to say how much more comfortable he is. Forsberg plays on Neal’s line and should benefit from increased production from the big winger
Forsberg increased his playing time by almost two minutes a game last season as Coach Laviolette grew more and more confident in the rookies game. In preseason he even killed penalties where he looked like a natural. You can also add the benefit of the 3-on-3 overtime where Forsberg should be one of the first on the ice as his game adapts well to the increased ice size and offensive bonanza.
One more reason that Forsberg will score more this season than last. He only scored on 11% of his shots last year. That is the worst of the top 40 scorers in the NHL last season. Just by luck, more will go in this year. In our 10 Predictions Article, we said that Forsberg will break Jason Arnott‘s team record of 33 goals this season. We stand by that.
Next: Increased Scoring From Where?