BOSTON — Although Nathan Horton suffered a concussion in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals — courtesy of Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome — the ex-Florida Panther left his mark during the team’s playoff run with two overtime winners in Games 5 and 7 of the Montreal series and his lone tally in Game 7 against Tampa.
On Saturday, Horton skated on the TD Garden ice for the first time since the Rome incident in Game 3 back in June.
And like his teammates, Horton is eager to get back to work for the defending champions and put the summertime behind.
“It feels good. Certainly better than golf,” joked Horton in his opening statement with the media. “Everybody’s excited to be here and get that first day on the ice. It felt nice and felt good to be back.”
While one certainly might have been a little emotional to return to the ice after an injury, Horton would rather put the past behind and focus on the moment.
“I’m excited about getting back and feeling good,” Horton said. “I don’t think too much about the past. Whatever happened in the past…I’m just excited to get back onto the ice after the short break and help out.”
Although Horton’s concussion seemed severe at first, he avoided the repercussions and was able to recover quickly.
Getting healthy sooner then expected helped Horton return sooner rather than later.
“It feels good to not having any setbacks,” Horton said. “The first day [of camp] is always the hardest and I feel good right now. And hopefully I continue to keep feeling good.”
Horton has always done a good job arriving at the first day of camp according to head coach Claude Julien.
“He looked fine,” Julien said about Horton. “He’s been fine for awhile and his concussion situation was pretty well cleared about 2-3 weeks after the Cup was won…I think, to my knowledge, that was his first concussion ever and he was able to recover quick, but everybody deals with it differently. He feels good. He’s had no symptoms. He’s in pretty good shape and he’s always kept himself in good shape.
“There’s a lot of kinks that have to come out the first day of training camp and we know that. So you allow the players to go out there and take care of those kinks.”
Horton, like everyone else, had to get ready quickly in the three months off before reporting back to Boston.
“I’m not used to having a couple of months off,” Horton stated. “I’m used to having six months off so it was definitely a lot different then what I was used to.
“It’s nice though. It’s not going to take me as long to get back and it feels great to be back on the ice.”