It’s been an up and down season for Forsberg. His three-game suspension in February still baffles me, and an upper-body injury sidelined him for most of January. Despite the rocky season, he’s entering the playoffs on a hot streak. His hat trick in the season finale against Columbus puts his season total at 26 goals in 67 games. This also puts him at 60-plus points again, and the Predators need this hot streak to continue to the postseason. Check out the company Forsberg is joining with his four consecutive 20-plus goal seasons to start his career, per Elias Sports Bureau:
"The only other current NHL players born outside North America who produced a streak of four or more consecutive 20-goal seasons beginning with their rookie season are Alex Ovechkin (13 seasons), Thomas Vanek (10), Anze Kopitar (six) and Evgeni Malkin (four)."
Forsberg is blossoming before our eyes. These playoffs could very well end up being his launching point onto the NHL’s main stage. He’s playing on a great line with Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Johansen, taking pressure off of him to be the only guy. That doesn’t mean he won’t take over games with multiple points, shots on goal and scoring chances.
I expect Forsberg to take charge and be the main scoring threat. The Predators need him to step up and be the star player he’s capable of being. He’s got the supporting cast, but it’s time for him to rise to the occasion to be the superstar.