Peter Forsberg returned to the Avalanche lineup last night, MUCH to the delight of the home crowd who rose to their feet in appreciation of all he has done and in hopes of what he will do in the future.
There was a lot of hype leading up to this game, mainly because we were all waiting to hear if he when he would actually play his first game for the Avs. Peter himself wanted everyone to understand that he will not be a miracle-maker, at least not yet.
When he stepped onto the ice, anyone who has fallen-in-love-with, watched, or studied this guy could tell you he was nervous and in the first period, it showed. I would describe him as tentative, probably more due to nerves and emotion rather than his foot/ankle. With each touch of the puck, the jubilant crowd cheered him on. He didn't look out-of-place, but he certainly was not the "miracle-maker" everyone hoped he would be from the get-go.
In the second I can only find one word to describe how he looked: relieved. I think Peter had so much going on, physically, emotionally, etc that after "climbing the mountain" to get back to playing, he was simply relieved to be over his first hurdle.
I thought he began settling into the lineup and into the game in the third. He looked much more in control and apart from a few errant passes, looked steady - not dominant by any means, but steady.
It was great to see his "compete-level" (as Jim Hughson put it) was still there, going up against Willie Mitchell all night, not to mention Big-Mouth Burrows, and not shying away from hitting or at least, "being physical". I think he will settle in over the next few games and begin to get that touch back that we all know he has.
Regardless of how he plays and how people will judge him (good or bad), I for one am thankful and elated that the man called Foppa is back in burgundy! Welcome home Peter!!