By Jim Diamond
Washington Capitals head coach Barry Trotz was a big fan of referencing the hockey gods during his time in Nashville when he held the same position with the Predators. Well, if the hockey gods have any sense of humor, they might be smiling down upon Bridgestone Arena late Saturday afternoon when Trotz and his Capitals face the Predators.
In Thursday night’s 4-2 victory over the visiting Colorado Avalanche, Predators forward Filip Forsberg notched a natural hat trick, recording his 20th, 21st, and 22nd goals of the season. That hat trick followed Tuesday night’s three-goal performance in the overtime loss to Calgary.
The hat-haired Predators fans leaving Bridgestone Arena for the second consecutive game didn’t seem to mind though.
Two consecutive hat tricks are rare, but a third? That seems like a lot to ask for.
But again, those hockey gods.
For those that might not remember, it was Washington that sent Forsberg to Nashville in a last-minute 2013 trade deadline day headscratcher of a trade that sent Martin Erat and Michael Latta to the Capitals. Washington made Forsberg the 11th overall pick in the 2012 Entry Draft and then general manager George McPhee thought that he was expendable to acquire a veteran like Erat.
In the balance of the 2013 season, Erat had one regular season goal in nine games played and no points in the one playoff series he participated in as the Capitals were bounced in the first round by the New York Rangers.
The following season, Erat had one goal and 23 assists in 53 regular season games, thus ending his tenure in Washington.
In his first two full seasons in Nashville, Forsberg has posted 26 and 33 goals respectively. With 22 goals through 60 games this season, a continuance of this hot streak will have Forsberg challenging the franchise record of 33 goals he shares with Jason Arnott.
Does Forsberg think he has a third consecutive hat trick on his fiery hot stick?
“I mean I would lie if I said no, but you can’t expect that,” Forsberg said with a laugh after the game.
You can’t expect it, but for anyone in the mood for a good story line, well they can certainly hope, can’t they?