It looks like Nashville Predators forward Patric Hornqvist will be returning to the team’s lineup for tomorrow’s game against the Colorado Avalanche. As Preds hockey communications manager Kevin Wilson tweeted this afternoon:
Patric Hornqvist is on the plane to Denver. He’s expected to be activated from Injured Reserve tomorrow morning.
— KWilsonPreds (@KWilsonPreds) February 17, 2013
Hornqvist has been out of action since January 26th, when he fell below Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf and sprained his knee. At the time it appeared his injury might be much worse, so his return just three weeks later is a blessing for the NHL’s 30th-ranked offense. The Preds have averaged just 1.87 goals per game and have missed having a forward who’s willing to work in the dangerous spot in front of opposing goalies. The Nashville power play in particular has been anemic without him, dropping to a conversion rate of just 14.6 percent since he was placed on injured reserve.
On a team that’s home to very few big point producers, Patric Hornqvist has been a steady presence with 78 goals over the last three seasons. He picked up a goal and three assists in his first five games this season before his injury. His four points are still tied for eighth on the team in scoring and just one point back from a tie for fifth, even though the Preds have played 10 games without him.
His first task will be to take on the Colorado Avalanche, who most recently lost 6-4 to the Edmonton Oilers. The Avalanche surrendered 56 shots on goal that game, meaning there’s plenty of opportunity for a player like Hornqvist to make something happen.