The Nashville Predators have been waiting for this day for over a month. Filip Forsberg has been activated from injured reserve according to Adam Vingan of The Athletic, and could make his return to the lineup tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Miikka Salomaki has been moved to injured reserve to make room. Forsberg hasn’t played in a game since November 29th, but is still on the ballot for the fan-voted “Last Man In” All-Star appearance.
Forsberg, 24, has turned into an offensive dynamo for the Predators and was off to the best start of his career before suffering an upper-body injury. With 22 points in his first 26 games he was on pace to set career-highs in goals and points, while still registering excellent possession statistics. It’s not like Nashville has really struggled without him, but getting him back once again makes them one of the most dangerous teams in the league and quite capable of overtaking the Winnipeg Jets for first place in the Central Division.
The Predators will take on the Maple Leafs tonight in the third game of a six-game road trip through the Eastern Conference (with one game against the Chicago Blackhawks sprinkled in) and currently sit second in the Central with a 25-15-3 record. It’s hard to imagine they drop much further than that through the second half of the season, especially if they can avoid the major injuries they’ve dealt with so far. Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson and P.K. Subban have all missed long stretches but are expected to be in the lineup together tonight.