GAME DAY REPORT --Sam Kasan
PENSTV SOUNDPatric Hornqvist Nick Spaling Mike Johnston James Neal --Sam Kasan
QUOTE 'EM--Sam Kasan
Pens head coach Mike Johnston said there will be no lineup changes for the Pens tonight. Marc-Andre Fleury will get the start in goal. --Sam Kasan
I wonder if Martin make Neal breakfast today?
Waiting for the drill
Hornqvist returns to Nashville
Group sesh--Sam Kasan
MORNING SKATE INFO
All the Pens healthy players were accounted for at the morning skate at Bridgestone Arena. Below is the workflow...
BEHIND ENEMY LINES BONUS:
Tonight is James Neal bobblehead night at the game. --Sam Kasan
GETTING TO KNOW: HORNQVIST
Michelle Crechiolo sat down with Hornqvist for a lengthy getting to know. Here are some good personal notes on the newest Pens winger.
o Hornqvist met his wife, Malin, when she was a figure skater in the rink he used to play at growing up in Sweden. They had their first child, daughter Isabella, this past spring. “She’s seven months,” Hornqvist said. “Just a nice little girl. So far so good. It can change, but she’s been really good to us and we both are really happy. She’s healthy, so we can’t ask for anything more.”
o Hornqvist said what he loves the most about being a father is “just all the energy she gives me. You wake up in the morning and you know she’s always smiling. Even (after the loss to Dallas), we had a bad game and you come home and she’s awake and smiling at you. You just let the game go. I think that’s the best part to being a dad. And obviously to be part of a family is a great feeling, too.”
o Speaking of dads, Hornqvist’s father is the reason he started playing hockey. “I wanted to be like my dad. He was a goalie. Actually my first game, I was playing in net, and it didn’t really work out that well. I think we lost like 11-0,” he laughed. “So I told him I don’t want to play in net anymore. Since then I’ve been a forward. He brought me into the game and I love it."--Sam Kasan
For more tidbits on Hornqvist click here.
DIGITAL PREVIEW--Sam Kasan
SCOUTING THE PREDATORS --Sam Kasan
START ME UP
Good morning hockey fans. Tonight the Pens will battle the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. It will be the first matchup between the two teams since the Penguins acquired Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling from the Preds for James Neal. Hornqvist and Spaling spent their entire careers in Nashville before the trade, so it will be a new experience for them to face a former team. Neal spent the previous three-plus years in Pittsburgh, playing alongside Evgeni Malkin.
- The Penguins visit the Nashville Predators (TV: ROOT SPORTS; Radio: 105.9 the X) at Bridgestone Arena.
- Pittsburgh’s current four-game winning steak against the Predators is the team’s longest in the history of the series against one another.
- The Penguins enter tonight’s contest having earned back-to-back wins at Bridgestone Arena. Prior to this, the Penguins won just twice in their first eight visits.
- Pittsburgh is 1-0 this season against the Western Conference, having defeated the Anaheim Ducks, 6-4, in the season opener on Oct. 9. The Penguins have won 31 of their last 48 games against teams from the West, the most such victories among Eastern Conference teams since the beginning of the 2011-12 season.
(Stick tap: Pens PR)
I asked a dear friend who grew up listening to country music for a suggestion to start off today's blog. She responded with Tim McGraw's "Something Like That." So here you go. Enjoy. --Sam Kasan