02/12/23: Senators general manager Pierre Dorion announced that Forsberg has torn his MCL in both his left and right knee, and will as a result be likely out for the rest of the season. This announcement comes as a devastating blow for both the 30-year-old netminder and the Senators as a team.
Such a significant, season-ending injury is always horrible news, and it’s made especially so since Forsberg was in the midst of another solid season. While his save percentage had declined from last season’s .917 mark (he has a .902 in 28 games this season) that decline was more of a product of the play in front of him than any decline in talent on Forsberg’s part. Public sources such as Moneypuck.com are still bullish on Forsberg’s performance, with him ranked 16th in the entire NHL in goals-saved-above-expected, above Darcy Kuemper, Stuart Skinner, and Ville Husso, among others.
He’ll now have to focus on his recovery rather than stopping pucks, with the aim of returning to full health by the start of the 2023-24 season so that he can help the Senators get off to a strong start and possibly even get into the hunt for a playoff spot.
02/11/23: Saturday’s matinee against Edmonton didn’t go well for Ottawa as they dropped a 6-3 decision. On top of that, goaltender Anton Forsberg had to be stretchered off the ice after suffering what appeared to be a knee injury just before the sixth goal was scored. Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch noted postgame that an update on Forsberg isn’t expected until Sunday.
Forsberg has been a nice story for the Senators as he was picked up on waivers in 2021 (the third time in barely two months he had been waived and claimed) and has played his way into a regular role between the pipes. Last season, he had a 2.82 GAA along with a .917 SV% in 46 appearances, earning himself a three-year contract extension along the way. Things haven’t gone as well this season, however, as he entered today’s action with a 3.13 GAA and a .905 SV% in 27 games.
On top of Forsberg being injured, Cam Talbot remains out of the lineup with a lower-body injury for at least a few more days so the short-term starting role will fall to rookie Mads Sogaard. Ottawa now sits nine points out of the final Wild Card spot so they will have their work cut out for them if they want to get back into the mix.
The Senators will need to recall a goaltender in advance of their next game on Monday against Calgary. There are two options in Kevin Mandolese and veteran Antoine Bibeau. The 22-year-old has split the season between AHL Belleville and ECHL Allen and has a save percentage of just .879 with the Baby Sens. Bibeau, meanwhile, just made his first appearance today in the minors after missing more than two months due to an injury. However, the 28-year-old has considerably more professional experience and even a handful of NHL appearances over the years and might be a better option to partner with an inexperienced Sogaard for the time being.