ashton-remax_NEWFilip Forsberg is in a perpetual game of “anything you can do, I can do better” with himself.

After scoring a hat trick on Tuesday in an overtime loss to the Calgary Flames, he one-upped himself on Thursday, scoring yet another hat trick in a 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

It’s the first time a Predators player has scored two straight hat tricks, and the first time anyone in the NHL has done it since Alexandre Burrows for the Vancouver Canucks on January 5-7, 2010.

Even Forsberg himself acknowledged that he’s raising the bar very high for himself.

ships n trips“I can’t expect myself to get a hat trick every game,” he said. “But I just try to work hard, and obviously, if I can score goals, I’ll take that as well.”

The Swede’s first goal was as beautiful as they come, taking advantage of a turnover along the goal line and roofing a shot over the shoulder of goaltender Jeremy Smith from a near-impossible angle. That goal tied the game at two aside early in the second period.

His second came later in the period, taking the puck off a draw and shooting through traffic to just beat Smith off of his glove. Forsberg added his third of the night with the empty net in the final minute of the third period.

On the ice, Forsberg can be incredibly creative with the puck, like he was on his first goal on Thursday. He said that his creativity has been a part of his skill set since his early development as a hockey player.

Continuum Planning Partners“I’ve just been, I guess, trying to do that even since I was a little kid,” Forsberg said. “I’ve loved to score goals. I watched a lot of video, and I just try to pick up as much as I can from other players.”

As amazing as Forsberg’s hat trick streak is, he hasn’t been doing it alone. His linemates, Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Johansen, have been along for the ride, and their line has combined for a total of 14 points in their last five games, eight of which have come from Forsberg.

Johansen is in awe of what Forsberg is able to do on the ice.

“He’s definitely a gifted player,” Johansen said. “Every night, it’s always a privilege to play with those guys. He keeps impressing myself, and I’m sure everyone else watching him too. He’s really an elite player, and he’s a huge part of this organization and this hockey club if we’re going to be successful.”

Forsberg 2-23-2017

The chemistry between the members of the “JoFA” line has got all three players at the top of the Predators point list with Johansen in the lead at 43, Forsberg with 42 and Arvidsson with 41.

The next-highest point total is 34, belonging to captain Mike Fisher.

Playing on a line with a world-class passer in Johansen and a speedy player in Arvidsson has Forsberg playing with confidence.

“They deserve all the credit I can give them,” Forsberg said. “They’re tremendous players. Arvidsson has been unreal for us all year with his speed. If there’s any better passer than Johansen in this league, I’m not sure who it’d be. I just try to get open.”

With two consecutive hat tricks under his belt, Forsberg turns to the Predators next matchup on Saturday with the Washington Capitals, the team that traded him to Nashville in 2013 in exchange for Martin Erat and Michael Latta.

The possibility of getting a hat trick of hat tricks against his old team was not lost on the young Swede.

“I would lie if I said no,” he said when asked if it crossed his mind. “But as I said, I can’t expect that.”

With the win, the Predators hold on to the top wild card spot with a one-point lead over the Calgary Flames and a game in hand. They are also tied with the St. Louis Blues with 67 points.

Puck drop between the Predators and the Capitals on Saturday is scheduled for 4 PM.


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