Sports

Nashville's Filip Forsberg Is Toying with the NHL

The Predators' All-Star forward is on some kind of tear right now, scoring 10 goals and 13 points in his last five games.
March 1, 2017, 6:26pm
Photo by Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The main piece in one of the biggest deadline-day steals of the last 20 years is blazing his way through a historic hot streak.

Filip Forsberg's second goal of the night and overtime winner against Buffalo on Tuesday extended a monumental run for the Nashville Predators forward, as he became the first player in team history to record three points, four times, in a five-game span.

He's also the first player since Pavel Bure in 2001 to score 10 goals in a five-game stretch and, in the last eight days, Forsberg has had one hell of an offensive run. In contests against the Sabres, Oilers, Capitals, Avalanche and Flames, the 22-year-old has racked up 10 goals and 13 points, including two game-winners and two straight hat tricks to get the streak started. After putting up twice as many goals as any player in the NHL since last Tuesday, he's vaulted up the goal-scoring leaderboard and now sits tied for 12th overall with 26 tallies on the year.

Though his past five games have been off-the-charts good (he's recorded nearly 40 percent of his goals this season in that span) Forsberg has taken his third full NHL season as an opportunity to develop into one of, if not the, best forward on a strong Predators team. His 26 goals lead the team and so do his eight game-winners, as he sits just one back of Jeff Carter for the NHL lead in GWG. He ranks No. 1 among all Predators skaters in overall points shares (6.3), offensive points shares (5.1), shot attempts (353) and takeaways (59).

Photo by Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The only thing more satisfying to Predators management than Forsberg's emergence as a key cog to the team's engine is the return on investment the club has been rewarded with after acquiring the young prospect in 2013. As the Washington Capitals geared up for the long playoff run that never quite happened, the Preds shipped Martin Erat and Michael Latta to the Caps for an 18-year-old, highly-touted Forsberg.

Erat managed to scored just two goals and 27 points in Washington before he was shipped to Arizona, and is now playing in Europe. Latta, meanwhile, has put up just four goals and 17 points in 113 NHL games while spending a good chunk of his career in the American Hockey League. To sum up how that trade went, Forsberg has six more goals in his last five games than Latta has in his entire career, and former Capitals general manager George McPhee, the man responsible for rolling the dice on that deal, is now the GM of an expansion team in Vegas.

The Predators sit comfortably in third spot of the Central Division, six points up on St. Louis in large part to 9/10 points earned by the club during Forsberg's current hot streak. The kid is en fuego—just ask P.K. Subban.

Completely missed this. P.K. Subban didn't fist-bump Filip Forsberg last night after the win.

— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting)March 1, 2017