Tuesday’s preseason debut for the Chicago Blackhawks held great offense from the younglings on the team. However, Anton Forsberg‘s illusive 38-save performance captured the spotlight.
While all eyes were on John Hayden, Nick Schmaltz and first-round pick Henri Jokiharju during the Chicago Blackhawks’ 5-2 preseason win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, others had their eyes on a more important piece: the guy who took over Scott Darling‘s job.
That guy, who goes by the name of Anton Forsberg, had a lot of weight on his back entering the exhibition matchup versus the team he was traded from. Forsberg only had one game under his belt with the Blue Jackets, which was a horrendous performance in which he allowed four goals on 27 shots. He hadn’t been given a chance since, which could have really deteriorate his mindset heading into future endeavors.
However, with a fresh start and a brighter future as the Blackhawks’ backup netminder, Forsberg had a lot of pressure and determination heading into the game, which he later proved to fans in a surprising matter.
When the going got tough, he proved to be stronger
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Throughout the game, Forsberg was tested a lot. The ’Hawks weren’t very disciplined as the game went on. They ended up taking nine total penalties, though only one of them was converted for a goal against. Throughout each powerplay, Forsberg was put to the test and played with superiority against his former team, only allowing two goals on 40 shot attempts.
Not to mention, his team scoring five goals in front of him within the first two frames helped. But Forsberg didn’t let the lead slow him down or play with risk. He stayed composed and held his own when the Blue Jackets came out hard.
When the Blue Jackets did cash in on Forsberg, he was not the one to blame. Both Columbus goals scored by defenseman Seth Jones were due to lack of aggression by the forwards and a few screens in front of the net.
Sometimes in games, those can be the type of goals that end the night. Despite that being the possibility, Forsberg proved that as long as the team does what it’s supposed to do, he’ll do his job as best as he can so they get the win.
Even though this is going to be a long, long season, Forsberg showed off a mature and solidified effort that can be trusted from a backup in today’s NHL. Despite it being preseason exhibition match, he took the game as any other regular-season matchup and shut down some great forwards on the Blue Jackets.
We still have a long time to go to analyze how great Forsberg can be, but I have a feeling he’ll do just fine as a backup behind Crawford. Sooner or later, we’ll be loving him as much as we loved Darling.