Filip Forsberg made his much-anticipated NHL debut for the Nashville Predators against the Detroit Red Wings. In front of a national audience, Forsberg saw 18:37 worth of ice time and recorded two shots on goal. Detroit spoiled his debut, however, capturing a 3-0 win over the Predators in front of a sellout crowd at Bridgestone Arena.
“I like to play a lot. I made some good things [happen] out there and had some bad things too. Hopefully I can step things up a bit more before the next game,” Forsberg said.
Forsberg was placed on a line with David Legwand and Taylor Beck and made several good plays with the puck on his stick. He got a few good shots off that tested Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard and made a few spectacular passes while on the power play in the first period.
“In the first period, he made a couple of real good plays on the power play. Real poised. I like his intelligence. He sees the ice. He’s not rattled,” said Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz.
While he didn’t put up any offensive numbers, he did showcase his talent and displayed why he has received all of the hype over the course of his hockey career. The 18-year-old forward got to play on Nashville’s top line and defended against guys like Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Overall, it was an impressive debut for him, especially given the travel he had leading up to the game.
“He’s going to be fine. He’s 18 years old playing against Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Franzen. I mean we’ve been playing these guys 14 years, it’s hard to find guys that would even play against those guys night in and night out. I thought he did a fine job,” Trotz said.
It didn’t seem like the faster pace of the NHL affected Forsberg’s game too much. He was able to keep up with his linemates and made some good, quick decisions with the puck in the offensive zone. Forsberg won some battles on the board and was able to deke and dangle his way through defenders to deliver some good passes to his teammates.
“Of course, it’s a big difference from where I play and of course the players have much more skill than I am used to, but yeah it was high tempo out there,” Forsberg said.
“He was good,” said Predators captain Shea Weber. “Obviously, he is very nifty and good in small areas with the puck and made a couple of quick plays and almost scored in the second. He is going to be a good player.”
The Predators will take on the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night at Bridgestone Arena, which will give Forsberg another chance to try and contribute offensively for the Predators. Nashville’s shutout loss to the Red Wings on Sunday night was the ninth time the Predators have been shut out this season.