There’s Hope: Filip Forsberg Lights it Up in Sweden

Filip Forsberg beats Almtuna IS goalie and WJC teammate Joel Lassinantti. (Photo credit: Leksands IF)

The Capitals are awful. You know that. Why do you even care anymore? Why not just go buy vodka and mint chocolate chip ice cream and watch Downton Abbey until the pain goes away?

No. There is some hope in the distance. Evengy Kuznetsov says he crossing the pond as soon as his contact in the KHL is finished (more on that later), and 2012 first-round pick Filip Forsberg is lighting it up in Sweden.

In the nine games since he returned from the World Junior Championship, Forsberg has four goals and eleven points. He also has 30 points in 31 games, which ranks him as one of the best in the league in points per game. Forsberg, one of the youngest players in the league, would also be among the league leaders in points if he hadn’t missed time due to injury and captaining Sweden’s WJC team.

Take a look at some Youtube highlights from a few recent games and imagine what the Caps will look like in two years or so — which, coincidentally, is about the time they’ll win their next game.

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Filip Forsberg

Photo credit: leksandsif.se

Wednesday night against BIK Karlskoga (Marcus Johansson’s former lockout team), Caps first-round pick Filip Forsberg failed to score a goal in Leksands IF’s 5-4 comeback win. The 18-year-old Swede did however tally two assists, the first of which is so incredible, you will replay the below video 5 to 10 times trying to figure out how the h-e-double hockey sticks the perfectly placed tape-to-tape backhand pass got through so many players.

This may be pass of the year in the HockeyAllsvenskan.

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Filip Forsberg sad

Sad Forsberg is sad.

Heading into the gold-medal game of the 2013 World Junior Championships, the Swedes were confident they could repeat as champions. They had just beaten the host country, Team Russia, 3-2 in a shootout. They had gone undefeated in the World Junior Championships, winning their first 5 games with a goal differential of 22-10.

On Saturday, their first and only loss came to Team USA in the title game. Despite being named to the WJC tournament all-star team, Caps prospect Filip Forsberg, the captain of Team Sweden, took the loss hard.

In Forsberg’s post-game interview with Swedish reporters captured expertly by Aftonbladet, Forsberg struggles with finding his words. “It’s just sad,” he tells the press.

Below, friend-of-the-blog Jacob Ware (@JacobWare95) translates the full interview.

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2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship

Riley Barber is in the second row, directly to the left of the cup. (Photo credit: Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Washington Capitals prospect Riley Barber and Team USA upset Filip Forsberg and Christian Djoos of the defending champion Team Sweden 3-1 on Saturday to win the 2013 World Junior Championships. This is the first time that the USA has won the tournament since 2010, when some guy named John Carlson scored in sudden-death overtime.

Team USA was led in the title game by John Gibson, named best goalie of the tournament with a .955 save percentage, and Rocco Grimaldi, who scored two goals. Former Caps defenseman Phil Housley, in his first year coaching Team USA, was the victorious head coach. Assistant Grant Potulny, who scored 19 goals in 50 games during the 2007-08 season for the Hershey Bears, also won gold as an assistant coach.

Highlights are below.

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Filip Forsberg Fancy Stickhandli

GIF by welshhockeyfan

Washington Capitals first-round pick Filip Forsberg isn’t known as a fancy stick-handler, but before Thursday’s semi-finals game between Sweden and Russia, Filip let some tricks out of the bag. Watch at center ice as Filip puts the puck– and his stick— through his legs, in one smooth motion. You can’t even do that in NHL13.

If I tried that move, I would impale myself in an area not fit for publish in a family blog. In five years, I bet we’re all going to look back at the 2012 draft and smile at the star player our team got out of it.

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On Saturday morning, Filip Forsberg and Team Sweden will face off against Riley Barber and Team USA in the World Junior Championships. In the photo above, taken by Grantland’s Katie Baker, you see Forsberg (second from right) and his teammates holding up a newspaper reading, “No More Miracles For You.”

We’ll see about that. Not to be partisan, but I’m firmly on #teamusa come Saturday morning at 8 am. Sweden’s great and everything– with their fish and chefs and Jens Lekman, but it’s USA’s game to lose.

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2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship

Forsberg chases down Markus Granlund. (Photo credit: Richard Wolowicz/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Caps prospects Filip Forsberg and Christian Djoos had a big day as Sweden beat Finland 7-4 on Monday. Though the Swedish team didn’t need a victory to advance (they already guaranteed themselves a first-place finish in Group A when Switzerland forced the Czech Republic to overtime), they took care of business with their nordic rivals, eliminating Finland from medal contention of the 2013 WJC. Forsberg, Sweden’s captain, scored his second goal of the tournament, and Caps 7th-round pick Djoos had two assists.

Video and GIFs below the jump.

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Filip Forsberg and Edgars Siksna

Forsberg and Latvian captain Edgars Siksna exchange ceremonial banners before the game. (Photo credit: Richard Wolowicz/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Last year, Washington Capitals top prospect and Team Russia captain Evgeny Kuznetsov was held pointless heading into Russia’s third game of the World Junior Championships, despite leading his team in shots and scoring chances. Then he broke out for an astonishing nine points against Latvia, a feat we termed the Kuznetrick.

Capitals 2012 1st-round pick and Team Sweden captain Filip Forsberg seems to be following the same script. Through two games, Forsberg had 16 shots, but just one point to the effort, a goal against the Czech Republic. In Sweden’s third game of the 2013 WJC against Latvia Saturday, Forsberg had his biggest point total of the tourney, collecting two assists and firing four shots on goal in his team’s 5-1 win. Caps 7th-round pick Christian Djoos also tallied his first career WJC point, an assist on a third period goal by Viktor Arvidsson.

Highlights of the game are below.

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Captain Filip Forsberg leads his team to a convincing victory over the Czechs. (Photo credit: Andrey Starostin/Scanpix)

On Wednesday, in his first World Juniors game as team captain, Washington Capitals top prospect Filip Forsberg scored a goal in Sweden’s 4-1 win over the Czech Republic. It was Forsberg’s first goal of his WJC career, after getting just one assist during Sweden’s championship run last year.

Video is below the jump.

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Filip Forsberg and Jacob De La Rose celebrate. (Photo credit: Leksands IF)

Washington Capitals first-round pick Filip Forsberg, who recently was named to Sweden’s preliminary World Junior Championships roster, scored a goal and assisted on the game-winning tally in Leksands IF’s 4-0 victory over Karlskrona HK Wednesday. It was the prospect’s first game back from a painful hip injury that had sidelined him since November 4th.

Video is below.

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