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“In terms of training, he is comparable to Bobrovsky.” The story of today’s Florida shadow hero

Date: July 15, 2024 Time: 04:43:30

As the Stanley Cup final continues, in which Edmonton was able to extend its streak with a crushing victory at home, talk continues about who will receive the Conn Smythe Trophy, the award for the most valuable player of the playoffs. Until the last game, Sergei Bobrovsky and Alexander Barkov were among the contenders, but after the fourth game, in which Connor McDavid lit up and broke the 21st century scoring record in the playoffs, set by Evgeni Malkin in 2009, there was talk that the Canadian could get a prize even if the Oilers lose.

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But in this final there is a hero who is not talked about much, but who with his game amazes many: coaches, players, experts. Swedish defender Gustav Forsling is the main pillar of Florida’s defense, who does not lack attacking ability, which he has already demonstrated perfectly in these playoffs. He also scored the game-winning goal in the series with Boston, which took the team to the conference finals, as well as one of the key goals in Game 5 with the Rangers, which allowed them to win the most important game of the series. . Forsling is also the best player in the playoffs in terms of utility: “+13”. Somewhere in Alberta, a guy named Darnell started it. ESPN prior to the start of the series placed Gustavus fifth in Conn Smythe’s contender rankings. Taller than Bouchard, Hyman and Tkachuk.

But the Swede’s achievements do not only occur in the playoffs: Gustav became the most useful player in the regular season, adding “+56” in 79 games. And it is not a fleeting and abrupt rise: the four seasons that Forsling spent in Florida ended with a positive indicator of usefulness. If we take the same period in the entire NHL, then only Colorado defenseman Devon Toews is more successful in this indicator.

When Forsling was still very young, NHL scouts did not consider him a great talent and he was selected in the second hundred of the 2014 draft, 126th overall by Vancouver. However, just six months later, at the World Youth Championship, Gustav scored eight points and became the tournament’s leading scorer-defender, joining his symbolic team. The Canucks front office rubbed its hands, happy to have taken a good defenseman so low, but got rid of him in a unique way, trading the Swede to Chicago for Adam Clendening at a time when his value was increasing.

Forsling did not experience the moment of hegemony of the Blackhawks due to his age, but he debuted with the team in the 2016/2017 season. In that championship, he bounced back and forth between the NHL and AHL, spending roughly the same number of games as a starter and as a farm player. The following season, the defender played more in the NHL, surpassed the 10-point mark, but still could not reach the top 4. But in the end, they did not bother with Forsling and traded him to Carolina, which, by the way, did not He experienced no defensive problems at the time, as he had a full team of defenders on hand.

Gustav himself reacted positively to the exchange and said: “I work a lot in the gym and on the ice, that helps me a lot. I know that if I get a chance with Carolina, I’ll be ready.” But Forsling didn’t get a chance on the Hurricanes’ main team and spent the entire season on the farm club. And the following season he signed a one-year, two-way contract, but the The story with Carolina ended very quickly, as the club included him in the waiver draft with the aim of sending the player to the AHL, however, he did not manage to get there: “Florida” made a fuss and took him away.

Gustavo Forsling

Photo: Frank Franklin II/AP Photo/TASS

The Panthers’ position was clear: the defense needed to be strengthened; It wasn’t the reliable Florida everyone knows now; Then-coach Joel Quenneville, who knew the Swede’s potential, played an important role in the transition. It was he and several other people in the structure who wanted to get Forsling. “Everyone did everything they could to get this guy,” Panthers general manager Bill Zito said.

Already in the first season, the bet paid off: the Swede broke his personal record for goals, finished the season with a good utility indicator and also added depth in defense. But beyond the basics, there are more detailed statistics that show the Panthers are creating more scoring opportunities and scoring more frequently when Forsling is on the ice. He plays aggressively against opposing forwards, preventing them from reaching favorable positions, and also does his best to minimize the threat in his own goal and get the puck where it is almost impossible to miss: in the opponent’s zone.

“He just doesn’t make mistakes, he’s on the court more than anyone else when we score. And it doesn’t cost him excessive physical effort,” Paul Maurice once said about one of his favorites in Florida.

The Panthers are currently one of the strongest teams physically and Forsling is the best of the best. This was confirmed by both the team coach and his teammates. Kyle Okposo told reporters: “You should see this guy walking around with no shirt on.” And Aaron Ekblad added: “With his body, he looks like a mythical Greek god.”

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Brilliant physical preparation allows us to count on Gustav in the most decisive moments of the game. At a time when your legs and arms are not so fresh, and the place of thinking about decisions is replaced by instincts. Kyle Okposo himself said: “I love going out on the ice with him because he plays unbelievably. You return to your zone in a panic because the opponent is about to create a scoring opportunity and the next moment stops the attack. He will never put you in an awkward situation. He’s just phenomenal.”

But that physical preparation cannot come from nowhere. Here the desire and healthy doses of fanaticism with which you approach your training are of great importance. Paul Maurice, with a bit of admiration, once said: “He was late, but it wasn’t for lack of work ethic. He is our elite athlete. Our fittest man. Huge, powerful and durable tank. Heavy and fast.”

Aaron Ekblad also lavishly praises Forsling: “His career has taken off quickly. He compared him to Sergei Bobrovsky in the sense that his preparation plays a key role. Whether it’s watching videos or working on yourself in general.”

Gustav Forsling and Sergei Bobrovsky

Photo: Tony Gutiérrez/AP Photo/TASS

Overall, Forsling is a perfect example of how hard work, work, and faith can take you to incredible heights. In “Vancouver” they did not believe in Gustav until he moved to North America, abandoned him in “Chicago” and did not give him a single game in the starting lineup of “Carolina”. But the Swede did not abandon his dream, he did not return home and now he is one step away from the Stanley Cup and is one of the best defenders in the world, if a purely defensive profile is taken, and his name flashes along with others. lumps like McDavid, Draisaitl, Bobrovsky and Barkov. In fact, this is one of the few times that we talk about a shadow hero who has reached such heights. Here you need to impress the audience a lot.

During the regular season, Forsling received a new eight-year contract worth $5.75 million. With a higher salary cap next season, this signing now looks like a big win. Bill Zito did a great job.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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