Nashville Predators: Virtual Domination from Filip Forsberg

DALLAS, TEXAS - JANUARY 01: Filip Forsberg #9 (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TEXAS - JANUARY 01: Filip Forsberg #9 (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

We’re having to get creative in these days to get our sports fixes, and Nashville Predators fans can turn to the NHL Player Gaming Challenge to help out.

It won’t ever replace the real thing, but Esports are starting to become more and more the norm in the sports landscape, including NHL hockey and the Nashville Predators.

The NHL Player Gaming Challenge is really worth keeping tuned into if you’re looking to stay in touch with some sort of sports, and stay connected to some of your favorite hockey players.

Filip Forsberg, one of the top players on the Nashville Predators, is participating in this virtual head-to-head gaming challenge using EA Sports’ NHL20 video games on the Playstation 4 gaming console.

These proceeds are going to COVID-19 relief, so that’s already enough for me to tune in and support it any way I can. The NHL, Honda and EA Sports have done a great job setting this up as every NHL team has a player representative in the four-week challenge.

Forsberg shows off his gaming skills

I’d much rather be watching Forsberg on the ice in reality getting the best of a Colorado Avalanche player, but this will have to do for now.

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Forsberg squared off with the Avalanche’s J.T. Compher in the NHL Player Gaming Challenge, which features three matches where the players play with their respective teams for bragging rights.

Before I get into how the games actually unfolded, the viewing format is pretty cool. You can check out Forsberg’s full video against Compher here via YouTube.

As for the games, I have to say Forsberg has some pretty impressive NHL20 skills. He displayed some crafty passing and solid team defense.

Compher looked to be the more simple player in these matchups, while Forsberg got more fancy at times.

A few times being too fancy got Forsberg into trouble, but Compher couldn’t capitalize.

How many times do we have to say that in real-life hockey games? Quite often, and it can make you want to scream frantically at the television when it happens.

Forsberg had some really impressive set-up passes that the opposing goaltender had no chance at stopping, even in a video game.

Just to give you a fair warning if you ever play Forsberg in NHL20, this guy lives in the slot and on odd-man rushes. That usually leads to good things both in real hockey and virtually.  And of course he’s very humble while dominating Compher because he’s all class.

Get out those brooms

So there’s three games they play in each of these matchups, regardless if the same player wins the first two games.

That’s what happened here when Forsberg won the first two games. But I have to say the first game could’ve gone either way and the 5-2 final score doesn’t tell the whole story.

Forsberg got fortunate with some lucky bounces, strong goaltending from none other than Pekka Rinne, Compher not burying golden opportunities and some power plays gifted to Forsberg.

It’s funny how the same things that can help or hurt you in real hockey can also happen virtually in the world of esports. That’s why watching these streams can actually get interesting if you’re a gamer and have an interest in the players or team.

The second game came with Forsberg asserting his NHL20 dominance. He was all over Compher’s defense and getting breakaways left and right. And he knows how to find the slot and crash the net.

Forsberg buried a few quick ones in the 1st period with Roman Josi and Colton Sissons. And it’s always funny watching his reaction and calling out his teammates he scored with.

There’s comic relief in this as well. Forsberg hilariously called Kyle Turris “lazy” after taking a penalty. You have to love the humor, especially knowing he’s calling out one of his buddies and teammates.

Compher needs to work on his NHL20 defense as Forsberg just skated circles around him. I know that feeling all too well in this game, so I admittedly have zero room to judge.

After watching this, I’m also going to put it out there that Forsberg would get the three-game sweep over me as well. And it would probably be even more lopsided.

This isn’t in a tournament format, so Forsberg gets to march off into the sunset with the sweep over a division rival and fellow NHL player. Check out Week 2’s matchups here:

Other interesting things we learned

The host of the challenges is Alex Caust, and he asks some really thought-provoking questions while the players are playing. He doesn’t really commentate the game play-by-play too much, but he does get the players to answer some interesting questions.

Sometimes while Forsberg and Compher were trying to give thoughtful answers, it seemed they lost focus of the actual game. Compher made a valiant comeback in Game 2 to make things interesting.

So Forsberg is kind of an avid gamer. He’s into the FIFA soccer franchises, but also mentioned he’s not very good at Call of Duty. Again, I can relate on that end.

Perhaps the funniest thing from the entire three games was in Game 3 when Forsberg called himself out and said “No. 9 has been a no-show so far”.

Calling your virtual self out is a whole new level of irony that most of us will never get to experience, but it brought I great laugh nonetheless.

Forsberg also brought up how he’s been mainly staying in Nashville during the quarantine and trying to train for the restart of the season when he can at his home.

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Bottom line is if you’re a Forsberg fan, you need to watch this stream because the guy is extremely likable and down-to-earth. And we all need a fun distraction from the times we find ourselves in.