We’re dropping the puck on our midseason player grades for the Nashville Predators, and what better player to start things off with than with the MVP of the team so far, Filip Forsberg.
I’ve thought all season about how certain long-time players of this franchise have underperformed and not met expectations for the Nashville Predators. Forsberg certainly isn’t one of them.
In what has been Forsberg’s most efficient season of his career so far, many probably don’t even realize it because the team around him has struggled so badly as a whole.
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Forsberg making impacts all over for Nashville Predators
We’re just one game away from the Predators officially being at the halfway point of the regular season. They’ll square off with the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow tonight, and no one expects that to go well.
Be that as it may, Forsberg has been outstanding to watch this season. When so many key players have had horrendous seasons in this condensed schedule, Forsberg has upped his level of play to near elite status.
Let’s start with the easy numbers to follow. Forsberg has really taken off as an all-around distributor of the puck. He’s not just scoring flashy goals this season. He’s getting teammates involved as well.
Check out this amazing stat that shows the chemistry Forsberg has managed to quickly build with the young phenom Eeli Tolvanen on the power play, via Alex Daugherty of AtoZSports:
The highlight reel goals have been few and far between for the Predators throughout the first half, but how about this laser of a pass from Forsberg to Tolvanen back on February 23 against Detroit:
Forsberg has been the main cog in keeping the Predators from completely tanking, although the team is still having a horrendous go of it against the top teams in the division.
With 17 assists through the first 27 games of the season, Forsberg is on pace to crush his career-high in assists from any previous season. His current pace if it was a normal 82-game season would put him just shy of 52 assists. He’s never finished with more than 38 assists in a season.
On a team with so many problems with chemistry and line shuffling, that assist pace is pretty remarkable from Forsberg. His goal numbers have been strong as well, with 10 goals so far.
And you can never overlook Forsberg’s physical nature of his game. He doesn’t shy away from putting his body out there to absorb a hit or dish one out. He’s at 36 hits which is right near his career pace.
I can’t give Forsberg a perfect grade because quite frankly no one on this team deserves a perfect grade. But in a season full of mostly turmoil, it’s unfortunate that Forsberg’s outstanding season is getting kind of thrown to the waste side.
The fact that he has played in every game is also something to commend him for. The guy has went to battle during a difficult and jam packed schedule every time and put out strong efforts.
With a rebuild firmly in sight for the organization, they have their superstar to build around in Forsberg. He’s proven that through the first half of the schedule, and I have my fingers crossed that he avoids the long list of players on IR and plays all 56 games.