Delivered on a daily basis — by order of jersey number — today is Day 4 of many more to go. Yesterday was Milan Lucic; today we’ll be taking a look at his right-winger and linemate, No. 18 Nathan Horton.
Name: Nathan Horton
Contract: $4 million per thorough 2012-13 NHL season
Line combinations (Dobberhockey.com)
EV: Milan Lucic and David Krejci — 51.65% and 70.36% in the post season
PP: Lucic and Krejci — 29.28% and 62.65% in the post season
2010-11 NHL Stats:
Regular season: 80 GP: 26-27–53, plus-29, 85 PIM, 188 SOG
Playoffs: 8-9–17, plus-11, 35 PIM, 52 SOG
Anthony’s take: Bruins fans quickly fell in love with Nathan Horton when he started his Bruins career off with nine points (5 goals) in his first six games. After his quick start Horton hit a bit of a wall, with just seven goals in his next 42 games. As the calendar flipped to 2011, Horton regained his scoring touch. In the 32 games Horton played from January till the end of the regular season in April, Horton scored 14 times. Horton finished the year with 53 points. Yes, he was somewhat inconsistent at times, but yet he still managed to still score 26 times.
Playing in his first ever NHL postseason, Horton was the Bruins savior. Horton scored two-game-winning-overtime-goals in the opening round against the Montreal Canadiens, including the series clincher in Game 7. Fast forward a few weeks to another Game 7, this time in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. With time winding down in the third in a scoreless game, Horton did it again, propelling the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Finals with another game winning Game 7 goal.
Horton was shut down for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Finals after suffering a concussion in Game 3 after a hit-to-the-head by Canucks defensemen Aaron Rome. The Bruins rallied around the hit and their fallen teammate to storm back and eventually win the Stanley Cup Finals in seven games.
Final grade: A
Marino’s grade: Without echoing Anthony in Horton’s offensive game, the one thing that made No. 18 a fan favorite, for me, was his tenacity. I was on the edge of my seat with what this guy brought to this club — a bit of anger, attitude, sandpaper-like game, a touch of finesse, and some serious cojones. His first bout in a Bruins’ uniform, above, came in the team’s third home game of the season inside the TD Garden. That really set the tone for Bruins’ fans on what exactly Nathan Horton was all about. His career-high fights in a single-season going into last season was just three. His first year in Boston, he had seven.
No. 18 also accounted for 33 hits in 21 post season games — plus all of his overtime heroics — keeping that same edge that made him rather unique in the regular season. His first-ever playoff run ended far too early. But his game, style, and persona will make him God-like here in The Hub for the next several years. And to sum his season all up: it was precisely the reason why he was drafted third overall in the NHL Draft eight years ago. Pure Talent.
Final Grade: A-