Sens’ Forsberg ‘back to 100%’ after MCL tears in both knees

Sens' Forsberg 'back to 100%' after MCL tears in both knees

Ottawa Senators goaltender Anton Forsberg is ready for training camp after a goalmouth collision injured both of his knees in February.

“I’ve been back to 100% for a long time,” Forsberg told The Athletic’s Ian Mendes. “I would have been back last year if we made the playoffs.”

Forsberg was stretchered off the ice on Feb. 11 against the Edmonton Oilers after Zach Hyman was pushed onto him in the crease. He was subsequently diagnosed with MCL tears in both knees and given a two-to-three-month timeline that ended his season prematurely.

Despite the nature of the injury, Forsberg feels confident entering the new campaign.

“I feel like I’m not thinking about it at all,” he said. “I’m not hesitating, so I feel like it’s all healed. I haven’t had any restrictions of what I can and can’t do. I’ve been doing what I usually do, so I can’t really say I’m holding back on anything right now.”

The 30-year-old posted an 11-11-2 record and a .902 save percentage in 28 appearances last season prior to his injury. He has two years remaining on a contract that carries a $2.75-million cap hit.

The Senators spent $20 million on the opening day of free agency to bring in netminder Joonas Korpisalo on a five-year pact. The 29-year-old’s coming off a bounce-back campaign in which he had an 18-14-4 record and .914 SV% in 39 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Los Angeles Kings.

Forsberg and Korpisalo backstopped the Lake Erie Monsters to an AHL championship in 2016.

“We were a good tandem there, and that’s what we want to do here, too,” Forsberg said. “We’re really good friends, and when we played together, we hung out together a lot.”

Though Korpisalo joins Ottawa on a richer contract, Forsberg’s prepared to battle for the starting job and earn his minutes.

“I think at the end of the day, it’s going to come down to who is playing the best. And that’s how it should be,” Forsberg said. “If (Korpisalo) plays better, he should play. If I play better, I should play. That’s the way I look at it. This is a team game and the best players should be playing. And I’m looking forward to it.”

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