Sunday, April 27, 2008

Horton Hears a Boo?

One of the most controversial players on the Florida Panthers roster is winger Nathan Horton. Drafted in preference over Eric Staal, the Panthers have always thought very highly of him. He's a sniper with an absolutely deadly shot, but he's always had one major problem. He's lazy.

I'm talking Garfield-the-cat-like.

Horton has shown some major flashes of brilliance but his constant lack of effort is his major flaw. He skates hard when he gets mad or when there's a scoring chance, but when it's time to do the dirty work of getting a puck out of the corner, he is simply stuck in second gear.

Who can blame him though? He's played for a coach that gives the team the day off after blowing a third period lead. He's been taught to only give what you feel like, and nothing more. With Martin finally being removed from the bench, this is the year for things to change. Out of all the Panthers stars, I've found myself booing Horton's effort more than anybody elses (except maybe Olli Jokinen -- post Zednik era).

Speaking of Jokinen, I'm still one of the lone people that thinks he should be dealt at draft day. This is a talent rich draft, and the Panthers don't pick until the third round. Jokinen has never truly fit in with the Panthers, shown by his overall lack of chemistry with just about everybody. Jokinen is a great player, but he is not the superstar that the Panthers are forcing him to be. The only way I think Jokinen stays around next year is if the Panthers finally decide to add some talent, and bring him in a real star so that Jokinen can go back to just being very good. Brian Rolston anybody?

All I am trying to say is that my patience is running thin with Horton. While Staal was the NHL All-Star game MVP this year, Horton was struggling to reach 20 goals at that point. That is simply unacceptable for the amount of talent he has. Especially now that he has found a line that shows unbelievable chemistry, and now that he's going to have a real coach behind the bench next year (we hope), Horton is out of excuses in my book. If he doesn't net 40 goals next year, I'm going to be extremely disappointed.


FloridaPanthers4ever said...

Horton should tally 80+ points a year. He has been my least favorite player to watch because he coasts. Weiss is another player who is a huge BUST! I do not see Horton ever reaching 40 goals just because of the way he plays.

Do you guys notice that when he is into the game he hits everything in his way and usually gets 2 points during that game! When he's not, hes invisible! Its soo sad how many players come here and do nothing but then leave and turn into stars: (Ray whitney, Stu Barnes, Huselius, Hagman, Prospal, Dvorak, Sillinger, Cullen, Boyle, Lilja... and the list goes on)

Put Horton on any other team and he would score 40+ a year.

Imber said...

You're exactly right. Horton has his games where he's mad and he plays great (usually in games against fellow draft pick Staal). Then he is literally gone and doesn't care in others.

FloridaPanthers4ever said...

I heard a rumor that the Oilers have interest in Horton! I got this from a Canada source so it's probably false but its funny that it came out today!

Also another thing! Do you guys realize that Skrastins and Cullimore were UNREAL! This is one reason why a puck moving Dman doesnt make sense. With both of them and the Bouwmeester/Allen pair, they have a sick D!

Welch and MVR/MURPHY oh theres ur two puck moving dman! JM obviously doesn't know what this team needs!

Imber said...

Tins was amazing, but Cully certainly had his mess ups. Overall I like Cully, but he may be finished. I'd still take Brian Campbell any day. But I agree, that is certainly not the team's biggest need. A star forward definitely is.