This afternoon the Swedish Olympic team named Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist to the squad in place of his teammate Johan Franzen, who is out with a concussion. It's hardly a surprising selection, given his performance as of late:
Nyquist has been on fire recently. He had a hat trick and an assist in Sunday's 6-5 overtime loss at Washington. Heading into tonight's game against Vancouver (7:30 p.m., FS-Plus), Nyquist had eight goals in his past seven games and 12 points in his past eight games.
For Nashville Predators fans, however, this feels like a snub to Patric Hornqvist, who played on Sweden's 2010 Olympic team and has been a leading offensive player for Nashville for several seasons. The problem is that between this season and last, his goal-scoring has pretty much dried up. After hitting the 20-goal mark for three straight years, he fell well off that pace last season and is on track for just 15 this time around.
Check out the following data from 5-on-5 situations, sourced from Behind the Net ("/60" means per 60 minutes):
|SEASON||GP||Goals/60||Points/60||Corsi On||Corsi Rel||Shots/60||Avg Dist||Sh%|
As you can see, he's still shooting the puck with abandon, and the average distance from which Hornqvist is firing is pretty much in line with what he's always done, but the goals just aren't coming. He's been a consistent driver in the possession game as seen by the outstanding Corsi numbers, but considering the new 5-year $21.5 million contract he's playing under, the results we're seeing lately have been disappointing.
#27 / Right Wing / Nashville Predators
Jan 01, 1987
|2013 - Patric Hornqvist||52||10||19||29||-7||18||5||0||3||171||5.8|
Is Hornqvist just a victim of a long-standing cold streak, or has he lost something off his fastball, leaving his 30-goal days permanently in the rear view mirror? Perhaps this Olympic snub will motivate him to prove Team Sweden wrong, but either way, the Predators need more goals out of #27 sooner rather than later.
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