Filip Forsberg, Pekka Rinne Leading Preds at IIHFs

It’s been a tournament to remember so far for Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg and goalie Pekka Rinne.

Forsberg has raced out to a fast start at the IIHF World Hockey Championships. Forsberg is tied with Edmonton Oilers and Team Canada forward Taylor Hall as leading goal-scorer. Filip Forsberg is also eighth in points for the tournament coming into Friday.

Filip Forsberg Flying High

Forsberg was shut out in the dramatic opening game against the host Czech Republic, but hit Austria for a hat trick in the 6-1 rout.

Filip Forsberg then scored a goal in an 8-1 drubbing of Latvia to set up a showdown with Team Canada.

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The Swedes eventually lost after racing out to a 3-0 lead, but Filip Forsberg played solid through most of the tournament.

Forberg’s Nashville teammate, Mattias Ekholm took a hard hit in Sweden’s 4-3 win over Germany.

Pekka Rinne Rebounds

Pekka Rinne struggled in Finland’s shocking 5-1 loss to a young Team USA in the  opener. Rinne looked shaky with a 25-save performance against the Americans.

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Rinne has since settled down and regained the form that earned him a Vezina Trophy nomination with shutouts over Denmark, Norway and Slovenia.

The performances may have come against three of the lesser teams in the tournament, but he’s not given up a goal since the USA loss. That totals to over 190 minutes of scoreless hockey for the Finnish netminder.

Pekka Rinne is keeping up with teammate Filip Forsberg in the MVP race.

Preds Trio Playing Part for Team USA

The most Nashville Predators on any squad are the three on the Americans. Only Seth Jones has been up with the big club as newly signed Steve Moses came over from the KHL and Harvard forward Jimmy Vesey has been in college.

Moses made a great impression against his future teammate Rinne with a nice backhand goal in the opener. His speed and has caused a lot of problems early in the tournament, but he did get his bell rung against Norway.

(Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
(Seth Jones collected two assists in Team USA’s win over Russia. – Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

Moses struggled against Russia and missed the loss to Belarus with a lower-body injury. Early reports indicate Moses will miss Friday’s game versus Denmark.

Seth Jones and Jimmy Vesey each have a pair of assists so far in the tournament. Jones looked sharp in the opener against Finland and got both helpers in the upset over Russia.

Vesey is showing a lot of hustle and energy on the ice. Vesey all picked up an assist in the Russia game, and used his speed to get opportunities against Belarus.

Josi, Fiala Helping Swiss

Roman Josi and Kevin Fiala have gotten Switzerland to third place in Group A ahead of the host Czech Republic.

Josi has been playing like a Norris Trophy nominee and got a marker against France. Fiala has a couple of assists and has

The Verdict

Nashville Predators fans would’ve liked to see the team playing in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. However, these solid performances are a good sign for the future.

Filip Forsberg and Pekka Rinne have played like tournament MVPs and all the other Nashville players have made contributions.

It may be the tournament that they’d like to succeed in during the month of May, but guys like Filip Forsberg aren’t letting a good 2014-15 season go to waste.

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Dan Mount is a Nashville Predators staff writer for The Hockey Writers. You can follow him on Twitter, @DanMountSports.