Hey Everyone! My name is Brent Murphy, I’m one of the new writers here on Pens Report.
I have started this new series “Just Checking In” to give you the readers a nice look at different things going on with different players, coaches, etc. within the Penguins Organization.
This first week I will be checking in on Penguins right winger, Patric Hornqvist. Leave a comment on who you believe I should “Check In” on next!
Statistics when playing under Mike Johnston– 5 goals, 5 assists, 10 points in 28 GP (0.36 PPG)
Statistics when playing under Mike Sullivan- 7 goals, 16 assists, 23 points in 30 GP (0.77 PPG)
Patric Hornqvist has been flying around on the ice since Sullivan took over as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Statistically speaking, he is a whole new player. Hornqvist has more than doubled his point per game total and has been an affective net front presence the Penguins wanted when they traded James Neal for him. Lately he has also been doing an exceptional job as an agitator and getting under the skin of our opponents.
This was not the story of Patric Hornqvist under Mike Johnston. He had only scored a total of 10 points thru his first 28 games. This play had him spend much of his time trying to bring a little bit of flare to the roster, while only participating at third line play. He was place on the third line and had lost his spot next to Sidney Crosby to young, injury prone, Beau Bennett. This was low for him. He looked like the next Penguin to hit the chopping block and would probably be moved out of our city before anyone could think twice about it.
As luck would have it though, Hornqvist got his second chance. Mike Sullivan took over and along the same time right wing, Beau Bennett, went down with yet another injury. Hornqvist took this chance and ran with it. As Sidney Crosby heated up, so did Hornqvist and lately it has been quite the sight to see. He has not only been winning puck battles along the board, but he is also starting to think like Sidney Crosby winger. He’s keeping his head up, watching plays develop, getting in the right spot for pass, basically everything Sidney Crosby likes his wingers to do.
Hornqvist has once again found his game and will continue to be a main piece to the success of the Pittsburgh Penguins. With Hornqvist firing on all cylinders now, there is no telling just how far this team may go.
Follow Brent Murphy on Twitter at @PensEnthusiasts