Pittsburgh Penguins: The return of Patric Hornqvist

Patric Hornqvist #72 of the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Patric Hornqvist #72 of the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Penguins finally got their veteran right-winger back. The return of Patric Hornqvist holds vital importance, and it comes at the perfect time.

Patric Hornqvist, better known as Horny by his teammates, has been out of everything Pittsburgh Penguins hockey-related since the start of camp due to COVID-19 precations. Earlier this week, he finally made it back to the ice, but yesterday he was officially back with the team. Per NHL.com, he said this after his first run out yesterday afternoon:

"“It felt great to be back, I can’t really put a number on how tough it was or whatever. I put that behind me and look forward instead.”"

Even though Horny hadn’t been on the ice with the rest of the team in Pittsburgh, he was still able to skate a generous amount back home in Sweden. The now 33-year-old winger is an absolute professional who will do anything in his power to make sure he’s in the best shape possible.

Hockey has gotten to the point where when you talk about a 33-year-old, you might describe them as aging, worn down, or depleting in skill. When you talk about Patric Hornqvist, it’s the complete opposite. This season he contributed 32 points (17 goals and 15 assists) in 52 games and was on track to earn his best points total since 2018.

Pittsburgh Penguins: The return of Patric Hornqvist

The re-arrival of Horny does more than just add points and professionalism; it combines the other side of that aging coin, playoff experience. This will be his 9th year playing in the playoffs, and now 6th year with the Pittsburgh Penguins. In that span, he’s played 86 postseason games contributing 44 points, with the majority coming with the Pens.

To no one’s surprise, Patric ended up on the 3rd line in yesterday’s practice, pairing him with the other aging veteran, Partick Marleau, and Jared McCann. That trio of forwards has been praised before by Mike Sullivan, and why not; they can be what’s known as “200-foot difference makers.”

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With the speed and raw power of McCann, and the hockey no all of Horny and Patty, this line will be deadly. All Canner will have to do is get it to the center and look to the sides where he will now find Patric Hornqvist once again. This return to action may come with some hiccups, but I doubt there will be too many, as the Penguins now get a for sure lock on their 3rd line.