-- Nashville Predators
right wing Patric Hornqvist
took a peak over his right shoulder and looked at the whiteboard in his locker room. There was the name of his former teammate, Joel Ward
, penciled in on the right wing next to center Nicklas Backstrom
and left wing Alex Ovechkin
"We were talking about that earlier before the skate," Hornqvist said of the incongruity of thinking about his former teammate playing with two of the League's most prolific scorers. "It's always a good thing to see him doing well. He's a great guy."
Even for Ward, it has taken a while to get used to.
"It is definitely a different system, different style," he said. "Scoring goals here is, geez, I think, right across the room a lot of guys can definitely put the puck in the net here. We had times in Nashville where we really struggled with that, so we had to play a different style or system."
Ward, a 6-foot-1, 226-pound workman-like forward who spent the previous three seasons in Nashville, scoring only 10 goals last season but leading the Preds in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 7 goals and 6 assists in 12 games, makes his return to Nashville on Tuesday, as his new team, Washington, visits the Preds.