Forsberg details scoring seven goals & plenty of penalties, plus video from Rinne and Laviolette
There’s only one word to describe the Nashville offense in the first period: relentless. After putting up four goals in the first and chasing Winnipeg’s starting goaltender Michael Hutchinson after the third goal just 12 minutes into the game, the Predators dominated their Central Division foe, 7-0.
In the first period alone, Nashville put the puck in the back of the net four times on just nine shots. The puck was certainly bouncing the right way Saturday night. They added one more in the second and two more in the third.
“It’s great because we were obviously playing really well,” said Forsberg on the seven goal outing by the Predators. “Especially in the first period it was great, but then it kind of got out of hand with all the penalties. But I think the first period was really good and being able to just stick with that for 60 minutes is a good effort by the boys.”
After letting in three goals on just seven shots, the Predators were able to chase Hutchinson out in favor of Ondrej Pavelec, who let four past him.
“It was great,” said Forsberg on chasing Hutchinson so early. “We’ve been talking about getting bodies in front and getting shots from the point. I think we did a really great job of that. Two or three goals just like that in the first period and got that going the other periods too.”
It was easy to see how frustrated the entire Jets roster was becoming in the second period. During multiple stoppages in play, there was always some extracurricular activity. Midway through the second, Mark Stuart made a very low check on Predators defenseman Seth Jones. At the moment it happened, a complete fracas broke out. Multiple fights including Colton Sissons and Adam Lowry along with Chris Thorburn and Barret Jackman. The latter two each received game misconducts. This was just the beginning.
In total, the Nashville Predators racked up 72 penalty minutes. The Jets finished the game with 84 minutes in penalties. Both teams picked up multiple misconducts. At one point in the game, each team had six men in their respective penalty boxes, a result of 10 unsportsmanlike penalties, a goaltender leaving the crease penalty and a cross-checking call.
“Obviously, they got frustrated,” said Forsberg on the Jets, who also earned a misconduct penalty. “They were down four-nothing and then we scored five and they didn’t really have any chances for two periods. So they just came out and kind of tried to play, but the refs didn’t want us to play, I guess, throwing five guys in the box from each team. A bunch of game misconducts. Just let us play. It took forever. Everyone is just turned around being frustrated.”
Also in the third, with Jackman out of the game, Mattias Ekholm serving a penalty and Seth Jones being looked at following his collision with Mark Stuart, Nashville was down to three defensemen to use on a penalty kill. Forsberg, who has been a penalty killer all season, knew it was a very unique situation.
“It’s funny actually,” smirked Forsberg on the situation. “I was sitting as the last four on the bench and there was only one defenseman next to me. Jarnkrok had to play defense on the penalty kill, but he did a really good job. He’s a real smart player. Next time, we’ll see, maybe we’ll have no defense and it’ll be my turn.”
It’s not too often that the Predators will hang seven on a division foe like they did Saturday night. Games between Winnipeg and Nashville are usually a bit more tight. Forsberg certainly doesn’t expect it to be this way the next time they meet.
“Seven-nothing is obviously looking really good,” said Forsberg. “But you never know. Next time we play them it’s not going to be seven-nothing again. It was just one of those games where everything was going for us. Our division is one of, if not the toughest one to play in. This was a good game for us, but it’s going to be a lot harder for us this season in the division.”
Many fans have noticed the physical prowess of Filip Forsberg has been amped up. In particular, it’s been the use of his derrière when checking the opponent. When asked about it, he laughed and gave this response:
“Just getting stronger and bigger was the biggest thing for me. I’m a pretty big guy. If I can get stronger and not be thrown around, maybe I can throw someone around. I’m just trying to use that as an advantage for sure.”
Pekka Rinne post game video:
Peter Laviolette post game:
Photo credit: Christina McCullough