The Nashville Predators have been without Filip Forsberg for 17 games. He makes his return to the ice tonight against Toronto.
It’s been five weeks and four days since we last saw Filip Forsberg in game action. The Nashville Predators were 17-8-1 before the star forward landed on the IR, and went 8-7-2 without him. Tonight, Forsberg makes his return to the ice as the Predators take on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
For the first time since November 10, the Predators’ top line will be fully operational. Before Forsberg missed 17 games, linemate Viktor Arvidsson was sent to the IR for an upper-body injury. The JoFA line has played 13 games together this season but has been effective when together. In those games, the JoFA line tallied 18 total goals and gained 54 high-danger chances, compared to allowing 8 goals and 24 chances. Not bad for such a short amount of time.
More from Predators News
- Joakim Kemell Flashes his Offense in Nashville Predators Loss to Tampa
- Nashville Predators 2023 Training Camp Spotlight: Luke Schenn
- Nashville Predators 2023 Training Camp Roster Officially Announced
- Nashville Predators Rookie Camp will Showcase Loaded Prospect Pool
- How Crazy Would Signing Phil Kessel be for the Nashville Predators?
Even though he missed 17 games, Forsberg is still the leading goal scorer for the Nashville Predators with 14 strikes on the season. Craig Smith recently tied that mark with two goals against Montreal. Arvidsson sits at 12 tallies on the season.
Talk around the team of late focused on getting action around the net. This is where Forsberg excels. Nearly 40 of his 86 unblocked shot-attempts have come between the space between the faceoff circles and the net, leading to 21 iHDCF. In order to come away with a statement win, the Predators need Forsberg to gain that same area against Toronto. That is where they are most vulnerable.
In order to activate Forsberg from the IR, the Nashville Predators needed to make room on their even more crowded roster. To do so, they placed Miikka Salomaki on IR after he was crushed in the boards against Detroit.
The Predators are nearing a completely healthy roster. Kyle Turris is the lone regular starting playing on IR. Yannick Weber has practiced with the team in recent days and his return adds depth to the third defensive pairing. With half the season complete, Nashville sits in prime position to win the Central Division for the second season in a row. They also possess the best record in the NHL against the Eastern Conference, including two wins over Tampa Bay and a victory over Washington on the road.
Strap in for what looks to be a fantastic voyage!