Pittsburgh should be excited about Patric Hornqvist By: @LuigiLemieux - PensInitiative | Pittsburgh Penguins Blog | Rumors | News

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Pittsburgh should be excited about Patric Hornqvist By: @LuigiLemieux

Pittsburgh should be excited about Patric Hornqvist

Although it is still July and the sound of skates scraping ice is still a seemingly distant idea, Pittsburgh fans are already pining for October and eagerly awaiting the unveiling of our “new look” Penguins squad. Among the many changes we have seen the one that excites me more than any other may be the addition of Patric Hornqvist as a result of a trade sending second line winger James Neal to the Nashville Predators.

The blockbuster trade has been the subject of much discussion. Who won? Who lost?

Both won. For very different reasons.

James Neal is a heck of a shot. He’s tall, strong, and asserts his will (Sometimes at the cost of a game or two suspension) all over the ice. You have most likely seen the Statistics, and I am sure you have heard the rumors accusing James Neal of being a sort of locker room “Cancer”. Either way I am not here to preach to you as to why you are right or wrong on your stance of James Neal, he is ancient history. Gone.

The future is now, and now we welcome our new winger, Patric Hornqvist:

So wait, wait, wait… a player willing to sacrifice his body to save an empty netter down by one with seconds left? Something I could definitely get used to seeing in the third period of games, perhaps while ahead by one or heaven forbid TWO goals.

The problem of the Pens seemingly “Laying down” while up a few goals had become problematic many times last season and into the playoffs. Granted, one player going all-out to save an equalizer at the end of a game is not going to solve this problem alone, however perhaps this kind of player could be what the Penguins need to rally around, someone to stoke the ember amongst the men on the ice and on the bench when needed the most.

Ask anyone in Pittsburgh to tell you something that the Penguins are missing and chances are more than a few will tell you it’s been a while since we have had that reliable net-front presence. Someone like Bill Guerin, who is willing and able to drive through to the net, anchor down and put in those dirty rebounds. 

Someone to float into the crease and send a pass over the shoulders. Someone perhaps like…

If that does not get you excited then I am not really sure what else I can do for you.

Keep in mind that this is a guy who had a normal line compliment of Matt Cullen and Mike Fisher. Stick Hornqvist, who never really had the chance to play alongside NHL elite talent, in any combination of the first two lines in Pittsburgh and you are almost guaranteed to see an increase in production to go along with the incredible increase in talent alongside.

Subtract a sometimes dirty (albeit talented) player that from most accounts was not a good influence within the Pens own locker room, and plug in a hardworking player that gives 110% every game, a player that if you ask anyone in Nashville, is the epitome of a good team mate. that’s an addition I will take every time.

I hope every one of you is excited to see what Patric can do alongside the talent we bring to the table. 

I know I am.

Go Pens.


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