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Friday, October 13, 2017

Hornqvist: The Heartbeat of the Penguins Lineup by @MedinaMarie_PI

(Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Post Gazette).
It didn't matter how fans enjoyed Wednesday October 10th's game versus the Washington Capitals- be it in person at the Capital One Center, watching on television or listening on the radio- the fact that Patric Hornqvist was back on the bench and ready to finally start the season made everyone feel...different.

It was that feeling of being whole again, but not just physically as a team. From the drop of the puck, that little spark, that oomph, was back and in full rhythm.

Phil Bourque, the charismatic individual that he is, gave a perfect example during Pens Post Game on 105.9 The X, of what having Hornqvist as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins is like:
 "Sidney Crosby might be the heart and soul of this team, but Hornqvist is the pulse."

Fans would agree. The sheer antici....................pation of his return was palpable throughout Pens Nation and Wednesday night the hunger for the dynamic Swede's return was satisfied.

"He plays with so much swagger. He's just a great competitor," said Head Coach Mike Sullivan during the post game interview.

That swagger was in full effect from the moment he hit the ice in typical Patric Hornqvist fashion. Taking the body, getting in the face of the opposing net minder (his "office") and keeping the team loose and engaged on the bench and on the ice.

HCMS continued to gush about great having a guy like Honqvist is for the overall moral of the team:
"He brings juice to our bench. You hear him chirping all the time. He's just awesome to have around. And it's contagious. He's just a real positive guy. He brings tons of energy to the team."

That energy helped fuel the Penguins' first power- play unit. The typical five man unit was retooled on the fly after struggling a bit on the Penguins first attempt with the man advantage. Hornqvist was added to the mix and would tally an assist on a Kris Letang goal in the first period. Hornqvist would later score a power- play goal of his own in the second period to put the Penguins up 2-0.
In his post game locker room interview after the 3-2 victory, Hornqvist was asked about what it felt like for the team to be able to score three power play goals, something that is not typical in todays game, let alone against a team like Washington.
"We obviously have a really talented group out there. When we're going well, we move the puck around and fine seams. today we didn't have our best game, but we still found a way to score three power-play goals."

A player like Hornqvist is tough to find. He is a skating billboard of everything the Penguin's team strives to be all balled up into special character: strong in mind and body, gritty, fast, skilful, comes through with physicality and goal scoring with an infectious positive attitude.

Sidney Crosby is, without a doubt, the heart of the team. But a heart with no pulse is dead on arrival, which makes Patric Hornqvist such a valuable asset.

1 comment:

  1. Horny is one of the most underrated players in the NHL.
    Another Chris Kunitz for sure


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