Penguins

Kovacevic: How Hornqvist can change Penguins

Football players can't be taught to hit hard. You hear that from Pop Warner all the way up to the pros. They've either been doing it their whole lives, they either love doing it, or they never will.

The most common baseball variation relates to a pitcher throwing inside. If he isn't backing off batters by Little League, he'll never do so in the bigs.

And hockey's?

"No one learns how to go to the net," Eddie Johnston was telling me late Saturday night after the Penguins' 3-1 throwdown of the previously perfect Islanders at Consol Energy Center. "I've been around the game my whole life, and I've never seen a player who you could tell to go to the net, and he'd be good at it. Not one."

E.J.'s seen his share of hockey, to say the least.

And he knows exactly what he sees when watching Patric Hornqvist.

"He lives there. He loves it. You can't get him away from there."

The net, he means.

"A guy like that ... boy, that's what we needed."

Who could dispute it after this one?

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