Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Peter Forsberg: Scaredy Cat?

Peter Forsberg = Scared?

That's not normally an adjective you'd tag on Forsberg, a guy who plays with such a lack of self-preservation that most mere mortals could never understand.

BUT, the guy who buried Canada at the Olympics once upon a time with a legendary shootout goal actually told his coach not to pick him in a recent shootout.

From NJ.com:

The first controversy to hit Flyerdom may have bubbled to the surface during Saturday's epic shootout loss to the Rangers.

After the Flyers' first three shooters -- Simon Gagne, Mike Richards and Geoff Sanderson -- missed their chances, there was no doubt who should have been the next choice. It should have been Peter Forsberg, who once scored a shootout goal so memorable, they put it on a postage stamp in his native Sweden.

But rather than deliver a win, Forsberg mailed his coach a no- thanks, allowing Petr Nedved and Kyle Calder to take their chances first. Then, finally, Forsberg took his turn on the ice, only to misfire on his shot.

Why would the captain pass on a chance to win the game?

Saturday, Hitchcock brusquely said, "He didn't want to shoot."
Now, this Adam Kimelman fellow is probably a Devils fan, so let me step to the defense of Forsberg while y'all pile on the guy for bailing out.

Forsberg's post-game answers were sketchy at best and confusing at worst. First he said all his sticks were broken, and then he said he used "sort of a broken one." He later clarified that to say he had just gotten new sticks, but thought the shafts were too springy and wasn't comfortable with them.

But Forsberg had 14 other left- shooting teammates he could have borrowed a stick from, so that excuse doesn't fly.
Well, OK, I can't defend Forsberg's weak answers, but you know the guy isn't going to just come out and say "I just didn't think I could score." I mean, you don't want to give the impression that your pwned by the concept of the shootout. D00d, just say your sticks were from Ikea and you couldn't figure out the instructions.

The most troublesome comment came next: "I had been lack ing confidence going into it and I thought we had better shooters than me."

Two games into the season and Forsberg is lacking scoring confi dence? That's a real bad sign for a team looking to Forsberg for more than offense. Last season, the Flyers were done in by a lack of leader ship. Forsberg is a veteran player whose work ethic, desire, character and skill are unquestioned. But he's never served as a captain, let alone for a high-profile team like the Flyers.
No, Forsberg was lacking confidence in the shootout, not lacking confidence in scoring in general.

OK, here is where I'll defend Forsberg's decision.

  • The shootout requires a HIGH level of confidence. It's a 1-on-1 battle, and everyone is focused on YOU. The high-profile soccer events are even more intense, and it's not uncommon for good players to decline the shootout. Not everyone thinks they can handle the pressure. The Flyers have plenty of skilled players. If Forsberg thinks the other players on his club will do a better job, isn't that showing leadership? Leadership involves delegation and being able to admit that you need assistance. Should Forsberg have hid behind some machismo and went out there without confidence in himself? No, he should have deferred to somebody else who was more willing and able.

  • Forsberg has never had more than 30 goals and 217 shots in any single season. For a guy who's put up the numbers he has, he's never been much of a shooter. Forsberg has always been 'pass-first', and doesn't have a sniper's mentality. In a shootout, I want a guy who likes to shoot and can pick the corners. Forsberg's shot selection and power is pretty average.

  • Who had a goal and two assists in a 4-2 win over the Rangers tonight? Yep, Peter Forsberg. Screw the shootout, Peter gets it done in REAL time, not circus time.

  • Comments:
    and now it's golbez defending a Swede - not just any Swede, but the most evil Swede in all of Sweden? okay, i've officially seen everything.

    generally agreed here. maybe there's a language barrier, and maybe the guy writing the article is, as you say, just a devils fan. but forsberg's shot selection in the shootout really is sort of hideous. he has the one move that he's been using for a decade, and it happened to work 3 times last year. wouldn't you know it, he enters the shootout against the Rangers, and it's the SAME. FREAKING. SHOT.

    we get it. you're trying to slip it 5-hole while they try to anticipate the angle-shot. it's nothing you couldn't find 500 examples of on YouTube, 499 of them starring Mr. Unshaven Swede himself.

    my opinion is, unless you're in a shootout against some REALLY green goaltender, don't put Forsberg in the shootout.
    Post a Comment

    << Home

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?