Penguins coach Mike Johnston said he believes a player needs 200 shots to score 20 goals or 300 shots to score 30 goals.
By Johnston’s logic, forward Patric Hornqvist is on pace to score somewhere around 57 goals; after 12 shots during Saturday’s 3-1 win over the New York Islanders at Consol Energy Center, Hornqvist is on pace for 574 shots this season.
Seriously, the guy has 28 shots ON GOAL in four games.
“Our team philosophy is to keep teams off-balance with the shot,” Johnston said. “We want to get pucks to the net, create havoc and put them back on their heels.
“Hornqvist has been one of the leaders in that area. When he gets a chance to shoot, he’s not afraid to shoot. He doesn’t over-pass the puck.”
No, he doesn’t.
Hornqvist likes to shoot, likes to keep things simple, and that’s OK. Ask Hornqvist a question, and it will likely evolve into how he’s going to stick to his game and get to the net.
It certainly worked when he got his stick on an Evgeni Malkin point shot for the game-winner at 14 minutes, 44 seconds of the second period.
“He’s good shot, move puck, he’s going to net every time,” Malkin said. “I have puck, he go to net. Tonight, he score because he go to net.”
Hornqvist has eight points and four goals through four games, roughly 18 percent of his goal total from last season already. He also has a goal and four assists on the power play.
“They’re four good players,” Hornqvist answered when he was asked why he has meshed so well with Sidney Crosby, Malkin, defenseman Kris Letang and forward Chris Kunitz. “They’re unbelievable. Sid and Geno are probably the best pair in the world. Letang is great on the point, Kunitz awesome in front.”
>>The penalty kill was also a story in preventing the Islanders for starting 5-0-0 for the first time in club history.
The second-best power play in the league went 0 for 7 Saturday.
“Our penalty killers battled really hard,” Johnston said. “They have a really good power play. We gave them too many power plays. But our penalty killers were outstanding.”
I talked to Nick Spaling about the PK wanting redemption on Saturday at the morning skate. Here’s one quote I thought was especially interesting:
“Obviously that’s the goal here (to keep the other team from scoring),” Spaling said. “We have the guys in here to do it. It’s just a matter of getting it done. Every PK, especially the start of the year, it’s about finding your rhythm and getting everybody on the same page. We’re on our way to doing it, and we want to start tonight.”
Looks like they did.
Club’s off Sunday. Josh Yohe will have a feature you’ll definitely want to read for Monday’s paper.
Be GRATEFUL to each other,