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2018-19 Penguins’ Season In Review: Patric Hornqvist

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Concussion history and lack of production on the scoresheet plagued our good Swedish boy this season, and those elements (plus his new contract) blur his future with the Penguins.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Vitals

Player: Patric Hornqvist

Born: January 1, 1987 (32-years-old)

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 189 pounds

Birthplace: Sollentuna, Sweden

Shoots: Right

Draft: 2005 Nashville, 7th Round, 36th Pick, 230th Overall

2018-19 Statistics: 69 games played, 18 goals, 19 assists, 37 points

Contract Status: Hornqvist signed a sizable five-year, $5.3 million annual contract extension at the end of February 2018 and will be going into the second year of its term at the start of the 2019-20 season. It was a deal that, at the time, looked like a slam dunk given Hornqvist’s recent play at that point last season. It also seemed great given the fact that GM Jim Rutherford just managed to swing Derick Brassard’s contract and trade for him by plopping money in several NHL organization’s accounts to make it work (hi, Vegas). The excess cap space allowed for the Hornqvist re-signing, and all was good. So far, however, and especially with the rugged Swede’s concerning injury history and lack of offensive firepower in 2018-19, the contract that was once thought of as a home run is now seeming like a burden.

Regular Season History & 2018-19 Season

Despite Hornqvist coming off a stellar 49-point (29 goals, 20 assists) season in 2017-18, his 18 goals this past year are the second fewest netted in his 11-year career in the NHL, and given his age and his growing list of suffered concussions, that isn’t a good sign. It is true that he missed a good chunk of time sitting in the press box on the injured reserve list, even though he bounced back from each of his two concussions surprisingly fast, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he went almost two months without recording a single point — which we’ll delve into a little later.

Advanced Stats History & 2018-19 Season

Season Team GP TOI CF CA CF% FF FA FF% SF SA SF% GF GA GF% SCF SCA SCF% HDCF HDCA HDCF% HDGF HDGA HDGF% MDCF MDCA MDCF% MDGF MDGA MDGF% LDCF LDCA LDCF% LDGF LDGA LDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO Off. Zone Starts Neu. Zone Starts Def. Zone Starts On The Fly Starts Off. Zone Start % Off. Zone Faceoffs Neu. Zone Faceoffs Def. Zone Faceoffs Off. Zone Faceoff %
Season Team GP TOI CF CA CF% FF FA FF% SF SA SF% GF GA GF% SCF SCA SCF% HDCF HDCA HDCF% HDGF HDGA HDGF% MDCF MDCA MDCF% MDGF MDGA MDGF% LDCF LDCA LDCF% LDGF LDGA LDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO Off. Zone Starts Neu. Zone Starts Def. Zone Starts On The Fly Starts Off. Zone Start % Off. Zone Faceoffs Neu. Zone Faceoffs Def. Zone Faceoffs Off. Zone Faceoff %
20082009 NSH 28 280.75 241 246 49.49 188 184 50.54 139 127 52.26 11 13 45.83 111 111 50.00 41 42 49.40 5 7 41.67 70 69 50.36 2 6 25.00 108 109 49.77 4 0 100.00 7.91 89.76 0.977 42 64 30 260 58.33 63 92 53 54.31
20092010 NSH 80 998.86666666667 990 793 55.52 769 595 56.38 564 430 56.74 50 29 63.29 438 321 57.71 182 138 56.88 28 20 58.33 256 183 58.31 13 6 68.42 472 404 53.88 9 3 75.00 8.87 93.26 1.021 151 216 120 843 55.72 269 315 277 49.27
20102011 NSH 79 1003.6666666667 931 855 52.13 715 659 52.04 528 476 52.59 45 31 59.21 448 402 52.71 181 157 53.55 28 19 59.57 267 245 52.15 10 8 55.56 397 368 51.90 7 4 63.64 8.52 93.49 1.020 174 229 101 835 63.27 300 326 250 54.55
20112012 NSH 76 949.71666666667 890 816 52.17 685 612 52.81 512 437 53.95 39 30 56.52 431 335 56.27 200 129 60.79 23 18 56.10 231 206 52.86 7 5 58.33 387 384 50.19 8 7 53.33 7.62 93.14 1.008 154 249 110 786 58.33 262 326 226 53.69
20122013 NSH 24 311.13333333333 270 251 51.82 202 193 51.14 152 134 53.15 9 10 47.37 118 98 54.63 48 35 57.83 5 4 55.56 70 63 52.63 2 4 33.33 124 134 48.06 2 2 50.00 5.92 92.54 0.985 51 65 35 249 59.30 92 97 84 52.27
20132014 NSH 76 1025.6333333333 1004 960 51.12 775 690 52.90 583 508 53.44 51 49 51.00 445 388 53.42 199 138 59.05 36 25 59.02 246 250 49.60 10 16 38.46 470 464 50.32 5 7 41.67 8.75 90.35 0.991 228 222 165 793 58.02 366 332 337 52.06
20142015 PIT 64 861.93333333333 858 714 54.58 628 531 54.18 460 383 54.57 49 30 62.03 410 340 54.67 175 140 55.56 31 18 63.27 235 200 54.02 12 10 54.55 376 315 54.41 6 2 75.00 10.65 92.17 1.028 189 220 117 638 61.76 316 310 247 56.13
20152016 PIT 82 1091.8833333333 1182 919 56.26 856 668 56.17 640 499 56.19 50 32 60.98 576 367 61.08 252 156 61.76 26 19 57.78 324 211 60.56 20 8 71.43 505 458 52.44 4 5 44.44 7.81 93.59 1.014 256 330 185 814 58.05 449 447 361 55.43
20162017 PIT 70 881.83333333333 935 799 53.92 713 555 56.23 549 414 57.01 47 30 61.04 477 348 57.82 235 139 62.83 30 18 62.50 242 209 53.66 10 11 47.62 379 364 51.01 7 1 87.50 8.56 92.75 1.013 182 272 125 651 59.28 330 392 255 56.41
20172018 PIT 70 930.53333333333 998 866 53.54 776 637 54.92 589 461 56.10 39 39 50.00 486 402 54.73 225 181 55.42 25 27 48.08 261 221 54.15 8 9 47.06 422 383 52.42 6 3 66.67 6.62 91.54 0.982 194 266 167 713 53.74 367 376 294 55.52
20182019 PIT 69 851.15 866 843 50.67 638 604 51.37 479 454 51.34 37 29 56.06 421 351 54.53 191 138 58.05 21 15 58.33 230 213 51.92 14 9 60.87 352 411 46.13 2 4 33.33 7.72 93.61 1.013 117 188 188 735 38.36 234 277 323 42.01
via Natural Stat Trick

For what it’s worth, Hornqvist’s advance stats, more specifically his contributions in possessing the puck, are pretty solid across the board. Much of that can be attributed to Mike Sullivan pairing him together with Dominik Simon and Nick Bjugstad later on in the season and that line having a lot of success through the neutral zone and making entries into the attacking areas. His problems don’t live inside the fancy stats charts, but it’s really great to see that the potential to score regularly still exists in Hornqvist’s repertoire. It’s just the matter of executing on a more regular basis game-to-game and month-to-month.

Monthly Split

(via Yahoo! Sports)

The biggest issue on display with Hornqvist this season in his monthly splits was his absolutely frigid cold streak from the beginning of January to the beginning of March. He only scored one goal from that January 6 to March 1 period, and only contributed two helpers. He was basically useless on the score sheet on a nightly basis, and Mike Sullivan made that very clear to him — he demoted the usually effective, “nose for the net” player to the bottom-six during that chunk of time.

Here’s an excerpt from my story highlighting Hornqvist’s offensive dry spell:

His six points (three goals, three assists) in his last 20 games played appears as a huge stain, especially when you consider he hasn’t made it onto the score sheet in any of his last 10 contests. His last point (an assist) dates all the way back to January 8 vs. Florida. At even-strength, Hornqvist has been a total ghost, failing to drive offense as a third and fourth-line winger on the Penguins’ bottom-six.

Considering driving offense is the aggressive Swede’s M.O., this is becoming a big problem. Even though his possession metrics are fine, his high-danger chances for — a stat he usually dominates due to his annoying net-front presence — have gone ice-cold, with two HDCF in his past 10 games and only six total in his past 20. His expected goals percentages relative to his shot totals are also all in the red. And to be fair, it isn’t from a lack of trying. Hornqvist is still getting pucks on net. The quality of them has just taken a nose-dive.

Hornqvist consistently denies that his myriad of past concussions negatively affect his play on the ice, but after seeing the results in black in white after coming off his fifth (!) NHL concussion, and second one in the 2018-19 season, it’s becoming clear that he’s either not willing to admit their effects, or is too stubborn to.

Individual Playoff Stats History & 2018-19 Postseason

Season Team GP TOI Goals Total Assists First Assists Second Assists Total Points IPP Shots S% ixG iCF iFF iSCF iHDCF Rebounds Created PIM Total Penalties Minor Major Misconduct Penalties Drawn Giveaways Takeaways Hits Hits Taken Shots Blocked Faceoffs Won Faceoffs Lost Faceoffs %
Season Team GP TOI Goals Total Assists First Assists Second Assists Total Points IPP Shots S% ixG iCF iFF iSCF iHDCF Rebounds Created PIM Total Penalties Minor Major Misconduct Penalties Drawn Giveaways Takeaways Hits Hits Taken Shots Blocked Faceoffs Won Faceoffs Lost Faceoffs %
20092010 NSH 2 18.016666666667 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 - 0.21 4 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 4 3 0 0 1 0
20102011 NSH 12 136.56666666667 1 1 1 0 2 50.00 33 3.03 3.33 51 45 29 20 2 2 1 1 0 0 3 5 5 14 21 8 0 2 0
20112012 NSH 10 115.35 0 2 1 1 2 40.00 29 0.00 2.49 49 41 27 14 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 4 22 4 2 3 40
20142015 PIT 5 75.35 2 1 1 0 3 75.00 15 13.33 2.09 28 22 20 15 4 2 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 15 16 1 0 0 0
20152016 PIT 24 340.58333333333 5 3 3 0 8 66.67 62 8.06 5.74 92 76 58 32 7 6 3 3 0 0 3 7 10 81 62 36 0 1 0
20162017 PIT 19 210.16666666667 3 3 2 1 6 85.71 32 9.38 3.19 46 39 29 19 5 12 2 1 0 1 4 2 6 51 38 7 2 1 66.67
20172018 PIT 10 140.48333333333 3 5 3 2 8 66.67 23 13.04 1.98 33 28 23 15 3 4 2 2 0 0 4 4 4 26 23 8 3 0 100
20182019 PIT 4 49.016666666667 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 14 0.00 1.11 20 17 13 7 0 6 3 3 0 0 0 3 1 7 7 3 1 0 100
via Natural Stat Trick

On-Ice Playoff Stats History & 2018-19 Postseason

Season Team GP TOI CF CA CF% FF FA FF% SF SA SF% GF GA GF% SCF SCA SCF% HDCF HDCA HDCF% HDGF HDGA HDGF% MDCF MDCA MDCF% MDGF MDGA MDGF% LDCF LDCA LDCF% LDGF LDGA LDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO Off. Zone Starts Neu. Zone Starts Def. Zone Starts On The Fly Starts Off. Zone Start % Off. Zone Faceoffs Neu. Zone Faceoffs Def. Zone Faceoffs Off. Zone Faceoff %
Season Team GP TOI CF CA CF% FF FA FF% SF SA SF% GF GA GF% SCF SCA SCF% HDCF HDCA HDCF% HDGF HDGA HDGF% MDCF MDCA MDCF% MDGF MDGA MDGF% LDCF LDCA LDCF% LDGF LDGA LDGF% On-Ice SH% On-Ice SV% PDO Off. Zone Starts Neu. Zone Starts Def. Zone Starts On The Fly Starts Off. Zone Start % Off. Zone Faceoffs Neu. Zone Faceoffs Def. Zone Faceoffs Off. Zone Faceoff %
20092010 NSH 2 18.016666666667 10 18 35.71 8 13 38.10 2 9 18.18 0 1 0.00 5 11 31.25 1 5 16.67 0 1 0.00 4 6 40.00 0 0 - 5 6 45.45 0 0 - 0.00 88.89 0.889 5 5 4 18 55.56 5 6 5 50.00
20102011 NSH 12 136.56666666667 130 119 52.21 99 91 52.11 70 60 53.85 4 4 50.00 56 51 52.34 28 16 63.64 2 2 50.00 28 35 44.44 2 2 50.00 63 59 51.64 0 0 - 5.71 93.33 0.990 31 43 16 126 65.96 46 61 31 59.74
20112012 NSH 10 115.35 110 106 50.93 93 75 55.36 64 57 52.89 5 4 55.56 51 45 53.13 26 14 65.00 4 2 66.67 25 31 44.64 1 1 50.00 51 42 54.84 0 1 0.00 7.81 92.98 1.008 24 33 19 95 55.81 38 45 30 55.88
20142015 PIT 5 75.35 80 63 55.94 52 53 49.52 32 40 44.44 4 3 57.14 44 29 60.27 25 14 64.10 4 2 66.67 19 15 55.88 0 0 - 27 28 49.09 0 1 0.00 12.50 92.50 1.050 17 30 7 58 70.83 25 38 18 58.14
20152016 PIT 24 340.58333333333 380 323 54.05 283 212 57.17 209 147 58.71 12 18 40.00 189 149 55.92 81 61 57.04 7 14 33.33 108 88 55.10 4 2 66.67 169 128 56.90 1 2 33.33 5.74 87.76 0.935 87 126 45 264 65.91 140 164 97 59.07
20162017 PIT 19 210.16666666667 150 221 40.43 111 163 40.51 80 113 41.45 7 5 58.33 72 97 42.60 38 30 55.88 4 3 57.14 34 67 33.66 3 2 60.00 68 97 41.21 0 0 - 8.75 95.58 1.043 36 51 65 187 35.64 54 73 126 30.00
20172018 PIT 10 140.48333333333 139 127 52.26 103 80 56.28 72 50 59.02 12 11 52.17 70 62 53.03 31 25 55.36 5 5 50.00 39 37 51.32 4 6 40.00 60 54 52.63 3 0 100.00 16.67 78.00 0.947 36 38 19 114 65.45 58 59 36 61.70
20182019 PIT 4 49.016666666667 74 39 65.49 55 31 63.95 42 20 67.74 1 3 25.00 34 23 59.65 13 11 54.17 0 3 0.00 21 12 63.64 0 0 - 34 11 75.56 1 0 100.00 2.38 85.00 0.874 10 15 4 43 71.43 16 21 10 61.54

Hornqvist has been a force for the Penguins in the postseason, as evidenced by his goals in big moments (see: 2017, Nashville). His HDCF totals and percentiles still stayed impressively high in the team’s short 2018-19 run, there was still just no success in hitting with twine. But for what it’s worth, even though it’s not an excuse, the entire roster went bone dry during the Islanders’ sweep of them. “Big Moment” Patric Hornqvist was seemingly shelved away for another time.

Charts (via HockeyViz)

Overall Role & General Data

When referencing his advanced metrics, Hornqvist had a bit of an uneven and unfulfilling season. The numbers show he did well to keep the puck out of his own end and shoot more on the other net, but generally, the Penguins weren’t rewarded with goals due to this.

Usage

Hornqvist played a lot in the second half of the season with Dominik Simon and Nick Bjugstad. One color on the top chart you don’t see a lot of is blue, which represents Sidney Crosby. Interestingly after such a successful 2018 playoff run (where Hornqvist scored 11 points in ten postseason games, playing as Crosby’s right winger) the team didn’t elect to use the two together that much at even strength in 2018-19.

Even-Strength Unblocked Shot Locations

It’s always fun to see where Hornqvist shoots from, and as expected, he unloaded shots on goal in high volume from the right side, as well as in tight to the net as much as possible. This is clearly a player who knows his role to get to the front of the net and create havoc.

Unblocked Shot Rates On The Power Play

The above two charts for unblocked shots on the power play might throw some cold water on the popular movement to get Hornqvist off of the top PP group. There could be some cause/correlation or other factors in play, but the two sample sizes are about equal due to Hornqvist’s injuries. And the data unmistakably shows the Pens’ power play performs FAR better at getting shots on goal with Hornqvist on the ice than otherwise when he is not, featuring a massive difference coming from the net-front area.

With Hornqvist there is that beautiful dark purple blob in the first chart across the front of the net (his typical spot) indicating a ton of shots from that area. Without him in the lower chart, it’s a green area around the crease and into the slot (indicating a lack of shots).

Ideal 2019-20

Hornqvist needs to get back to his point-scoring ways in the net-front area and go back to being an absolute animal on the power play, otherwise his contract will become a huge burden on the GM and the team itself if they want to bring another Cup to the city of Pittsburgh before Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin retire. It’s a pretty blatant ask, but there’s no way to defend paying a 32 (almost 33!) year old $5.3 million for the next three years after the 2019-20 season if he’s bringing nothing of value to the offense.

Discussion

With the sudden drop off in production, do you see the Penguins moving Hornqvist before his new contract is set to expire, or do you think he’ll overcome his concussion complications and have a big comeback performance in 2019-20?

Poll

Poll

Grade Patric Hornqvist’s 2018-19 Performance

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    A
    (0 votes)
  • 12%
    B
    (42 votes)
  • 57%
    C
    (195 votes)
  • 29%
    D
    (99 votes)
  • 1%
    F
    (5 votes)
341 votes total Vote Now