Chicago Blackhawks’ Anton Forsberg Still Proving Worth Despite Losses
By John Aubert
Chicago Blackhawks backup goaltender Anton Forsberg hasn’t had the start he wanted this season. Beginning the year two two losses hasn’t been ideal, but his stats have proven that he’s better than the record behind him.
Backup goaltending is a very challenging position. While your main goaltender needs rest, you’re given the task to show up and prove yourself capable of filling in the absence of the true netminder. If you slip up, you may find yourself in the minors, losing all of your confidence and losing trust within the system. It’s a very cutthroat position, and demeaning to say the least.
Based off Chicago Blackhawks backup goaltender Anton Forsberg’s 0-0-2 record, you may be able to say he isn’t doing his job, or that he’s unreliable. However, it’s not he who is dropping the extra point in both of his overtime losses, but his teammates.
Let’s dive into it.
Forsberg’s debut versus Toronto
No backup goaltender wants his debut to be against a young, powerful, Cup-thirsty team. Especially when it’s against the mighty youngsters up in Toronto. With multiple weapons across their lineup, they can tear you apart.
The ’Hawks fared pretty well versus the Maple Leafs that night, going up 2-1 through two periods, but were heavily outshot 26 to 15. The Leafs were starting to tilt the ice, leaving Forsberg to work extra in his debut in the ’Hawks sweater.
Da Windy City
The ’Hawks ended up taking a 3-1 lead, but blew it due to a failing blue line and undisciplined period, in which they had two penalties in a four-minute span, allowing the Leafs full control.
Connor Brown, James van Riemsdyk and Auston Matthews all scored, giving the Leafs a 4-3 overtime comeback win. With the loss, Forsberg still managed to save 39 of 43 shots, keeping a .907 save percentage in the game.
Second game versus Edmonton
Forsberg’s second start versus the Edmonton Oilers was pivotal. The Oilers were coming in with a 1-4-0 start to the year, and everyone knew they were going to come out flying against the ’Hawks. However, Forsberg was ready for the challenge.
Through regulation, Forsberg only allowed one goal on 37 shots, which is pretty good against Connor McDavid and company, who are usually scoring multiple goals a game.
However, the ’Hawks’ ability to take a penalty at the worst time came in overtime, allowing Oilers forward Mark Letestu to power a one-timer from the left circle, ending the game and not allowing Forsberg to get his first win in the ’Hawks sweater.
Despite the loss, Forsberg still managed to hold a .952 save percentage, saving 40 of 42 shots coming his way.
Collectively, Forsberg has been a solid netminder for the ’Hawks so far. The only force holding him back seems to be the ’Hawks’ inability to control actions in front of their own crease. He still has a phenomenal .929 save percentage this year and a 2.81 goals-against average.
Next: What We Know 8 Games Into Blackhawks' Season
Forsberg is definitely carrying his own weight and pulling off his end of the deal. It’s just a matter of time before the group in front of him picks up the slack and can help him secure his first win of the season.