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Forsberg Keeping Busy, Hoping for Chance to Compete for Stanley Cup

Filip Forsberg

Filip Forsberg might just be the next Nashville resident to perform a virtual concert via social media.

“The piano was very beginner level, but I started up and I know a few songs,” the Predators forward said Thursday via video conference. “If you guys want a private show of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ I can give you that.”

Well, maybe he won’t be going live to the masses with his new talent any time soon, but no worries – he’s still pretty good at his real job.

Forsberg had five points in five games in the month of March before the 2019-20 season was put on pause, as his Predators were beginning to traverse in the right direction with just under a month to play.

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Almost two months have passed since he scored twice in Montreal on March 10, and just like the rest of his teammates, Forsberg has instead been finding ways to keep busy and stay in shape, hopeful of a potential return to action sometime this summer.

“We were starting to catch a little bit of fire there [before the pause],” Forsberg said. “With the coaching change and everything that was going on, I really thought we were picking up our pace and guys were starting to play better, myself included. The break might not have come at a great time for us, but at the same time, it could definitely be a little bit of a reset for everybody that might not have had their best seasons… If we come back, for a team like us [with the] potential that we have, I think that could definitely be a beneficial thing.

“Whatever happened in the first 70-something games doesn’t necessarily matter at all. Now, we have a couple months break and everybody can kind of think about it, reset, come back and hopefully get a chance to compete for the Cup. And like I said, with our team, I’m really excited if that turns out to be the case.”

The NHL continues to assess potential scenarios to get players back on the ice soon, but no firm dates or schedules have been set in that regard. Therefore, it’s still up to the individuals to find ways to be ready, which Forsberg has done through plenty of bodyweight exercises and bike riding, as well as some time on the links.

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“I’ve been playing a bit of golf… but I feel like I’m getting worse at golf,” Forsberg laughed. “I might have to leave that for a while.”

He’s also been playing plenty of video games, something that was already a hobby before the pause. Now, he does so in front of an audience, like when he participated in an NHL20 challenge with San Francisco 49ers tight end – and good friend – George Kittle.

“I got to know him, and I got to know a couple of other NFL players that have their base in Nashville as well, and just being able to follow that a little more intensely has definitely been great,” Forsberg said. “And then, in the meantime, building our friendship through him watching me and me watching him and just talking and playing video games together and stuff like that through the season, it’s just been great.”

Forsberg also took on Colorado Avalanche forward J.T. Compher in the NHL’s Player Gaming Challenge, and the Swede took the series with a clean sweep over his Division rival.

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“It’s been fun,” Forsberg said of the high-profile gaming. “I grew up with [the EA Sports’ NHL series], and I’ve been playing every game since ’99 or 2000 or something like that. I prefer to play the real game, but this is a good alternative now, and it’s a great way to interact with fans. Last time, I was playing with J.T. Compher, a guy that I’ve played against hundreds of times in Colorado, but I didn’t know him personally. It was cool getting to know him a little bit while we’re having a good time playing.”

Video games have helped to take his mind off of some of the heavier issues we’ve all thought about over the past eight weeks. Forsberg, who has spent the pause between Nashville and Georgia with his girlfriend, says some days have been better than others, but he’s made peace with the situation over time.

“The first, I’d say two weeks, was weird because… you obviously want to stay in shape because you know we might come back, but [we] also might not play until September again. Sitting there in mid-March, the motivation might not have been through the roof,” Forsberg said. “But after those two weeks, it settled in a little bit for me… It was definitely a tough start, but now I feel like [I’ve] kind of been more or less accepting of the fact that you don’t know anything, so just let the people that have more authority worry about .”

Those decision-makers will have to arrive at a verdict eventually, and until then, Forsberg plans on sticking to his routine: some exercise, virtual hockey and perhaps some more practice tickling the ivories.

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A competitor as fierce as Forsberg always wants to win, even if it’s mastering another children’s nursery rhyme on the piano. But, above all else, he wants another chance at what every hockey player lives for.

“Being in this League for a number of years now, you have to relish every opportunity we have to get a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup,” Forsberg said. “With this situation there’s nothing we can do; we just have to wait and see and let the people that are in charge do what they know best. But, at the same time, as a player, you want to get that chance to compete for it… Personally, the motivation factor is not going to be a problem… But I would love to get a chance to compete for it.”

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