Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Predators must cope without key star with Forsberg on IR

Anaheim Ducks v Nashville Predators - Game Four

NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 18: Filip Forsberg #9 of the Nashville Predators looks on during the first period against the Anaheim Ducks in Game Four of the Western Conference Final during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on May 18, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Getty Images

While people are quick to make jokes about the Washington Capitals trading him for a faded Martin Erat, the discussion doesn’t always go deep enough when it comes to Nashville Predators star Filip Forsberg.

Some of that comes from his stats being impressive, but not necessarily “world-beating.” Some might stem from his successes being shared, as his rise comes as part of a deadly line with Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson.

The Predators would prefer not to find out this way, but with Forsberg on IR for at least a week, perhaps his importance will shine if the team suffers in his absence. Nashville is currently in action in its first game with Forsberg on the shelf tonight as they’re closing off a home-and-home series with the Minnesota Wild.

The Tennessean’s Adam Vignan captured the disparity in play for Arvidsson and Johansen with and without Forsberg in this tweet:

Early on, it looks like Calle Jarnkrok is getting a bump up in the order to Forsberg’s spot with Arvidsson and Johansen. One would assume that Peter Laviolette isn’t particularly eager to break up Kevin Fiala - Kyle Turris - Craig Smith, but the good news is that there are options on the third line if Jarnkrok doesn’t mesh. It’s easy to forget about the addition of Scott Hartnell thanks to his cheap $1M salary and lengthy injury absence, yet he could conceivably mesh well with those young forwards if called upon.

The Predators are battling with the Winnipeg Jets and St. Louis Blues to try to grab the top spot in the Central Division, so any Forsberg absence hurts. They have to hope that this ends up being merely a minor hiccup.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.