Nashville Predators: Key Matchups For Epic 2nd-Round Clash vs. Winnipeg

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 13: Pekka Rinne
NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 13: Pekka Rinne /
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(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) /

Can Forsberg keep ascending?

Forsberg will be in the nightmares of Colorado fans for the entire offseason. If you take out his production, the JoFA line was mostly kept in check. Viktor Arvidsson did have a beautiful breakaway goal in the close-out game, but that came at a time when the game was pretty much over.

We need Arvidsson to stay in attack mode and use his speed to get behind the defense. He turns seemingly no scoring chance into quick goals regularly. He can’t be a no-show in this series, and neither can Ryan Johansen.

Johansen isn’t necessarily out there to pile on the goals. However, we need his assists and puck possession. We need him setting up the offense in the opponent’s zone and creating scoring opportunities for Forsberg and Arvidsson. I didn’t see that as much as I would like in the first round. My expectations are extremely high for this top line, and rightfully so.

The depth of the Predators is a great luxury to have, but the top line has to show up in a major way in this next series. Winnipeg is going to get their goals. They’re just too talented to be kept off the scoreboard entirely. That means the JoFA line will have to match them with their own barrage of shots on goal. Going up against Hellebuyck is going to be much more challenging than Jonathan Bernier or Andrew Hammond. To keep pace with the Jets on the scoreboard, the top line led by Forsberg will need to have a top-notch series.