The Nashville Predators appear set to get a big boost ahead of a tough match up tonight.
Although it has not yet been made official by the Predators themselves, Rob Simpson of Siruis/XM NHL is now reporting that it appears that star forward Filip Forsberg is ready to rejoin his teammates out on the ice. The timing could not be better for the Predators who have been on somewhat of a slump as of late going 3 - 5 - 2 over their last 10 games and they are set to face off against one of the National Hockey League's top teams.
It's hard to understate Forsberg's importance to the Predators, not only is the Swedish star reportedly an extremely well respected member of the Predators' locker room, as well as one of their longest tenured players at this stage of his career, but he is also a dynamic offensive weapon. Through the 26 games in which he played or the Predators during the 2018 - 2019 National Hockey League regular season Forsberg has collected 14 goals and 8 assists for a total of 22 points. Additionally although he has added 14 penalty minutes as well he has remained relatively disciplined with a plus minus rating of +11 on the season thus far.
Having a weapon like Forsberg in your line up is of extreme importance when facing a high powered offense like the one that the Maple Leafs boast on their roster. If the Predators hope to outgun players like Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and even the slumping William Nylander they will need every tool at their disposal and thankfully for Predators head coach Peter Laviolette it looks like he will be getting them.
This is also a chance for Forsberg to have a big bounce back game from injury this evening as the Maple Leafs will be looking way down their depth chart due to a number of injuries. In goal for Toronto will be veteran backup Michael Hutchinson, a goaltender that was not even on the Leafs roster until a few days ago. In theory this should provide an ideal return for Forsberg given Hutchinson's struggles this season but the career backup has bounced back in his own right over his first 2 games as a Maple Leafs so it may not be as easy a test as it would appear to be.
Update: Preds have activated Forsberg off IR, still not official but about as close as you're gonna get for a game time decision.