When the Washington Capitals traded away Filip Forsberg for Martin Erat in an attempt at the Stanley Cup a few years ago, they gave away one of the games most dynamic young players – one that has developed into a legitimate goal-scoring threat from anywhere on the ice. They also lost their chance at having Forsberg potentially skate alongside Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Ovechkin. It would likely have been an unstoppable offensive trio, and Backstrom said as much today when speaking with Dan Rosen of NHL.com:
He reminds me of playing with Alex with his quick release. He loves shooting the puck. He loves to go to the net. He loves creating stuff. In that way he reminds me of Ovi.
Forsberg, who has already scored 60 goals in his brief NHL career, has a long way to go to catch one of the all-time great goal scoring wingers but even without 50-per-season he’ll be an elite player. Swedish defenders like Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Roman Josi and Mattias Ekholm, all excellent players in their own right, agree that Forsberg is one player you can’t give much space. Had he stayed in Washington, playing with Backstrom and Ovechkin would have afforded him that room.
- Pavel Datsyuk took the ice at team Russia’s morning skate prior to their evening matchup against Canada, but will still be a game-time decision. He didn’t take part in the entire practice, instead doing some skating at center ice by himself. He sat out the Russian’s final round-robin game against Finland with a “lower-body injury”, and hasn’t been the same dynamic force he used to be.
- Always known for a good soundbite, Drew Doughty told reporters “that’s a bonus, that’s for sure” in regards to missing the first part of Kings camp due to the World Cup. While the players remaining won’t get to practice with their squads for at least a few more days, the work they’ve put in with and against the best players in the world should be more than enough to get them ready for the season. The only worry is injuries, like the one suffered by Matt Murray which will now keep him out 3-6 weeks.
- In his latest column, AP’s Stephen Whyno speculates that Brad Marchand may be a top target for the Pittsburgh Penguins if he reaches free agency next summer, due to the growing chemistry between the Boston winger and his Team Canada center Sidney Crosby. The two have scored seven points in three games and look like they are a natural fit together on the ice. Fitting Marchand into their salary structure may prove difficult however, if Marchand can duplicate his outstanding 37-goal campaign from a year ago.