Coach on Nathan Horton: "we had a great relationship, he did some great things with us" ^CS— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 11, 2013
He sure did. Nathan Horton will forever be remembered in Boston the tragic hero of the 2011 playoffs, and a big tough winger the rest of the time. By CorsiRel he was our 5th-best winger, behind the Bergeron-Marchand-Seguin line and his own linemate Milan Lucic. Which is slightly impressive considering he had the worst on-ice save% AND shooting % of any top-six Bruin. Of course, he also had a higher offensive zone start % of any regular forward not named Shawn Thornton.
Horton only had one multi-goal game, down from 4 the previous year (and 2 the year before that). In terms of points per game, it was his worst year since he was a rookie. Some of that may have come from dragging Lucic's offseason ass around the ice for the first half of the season, and it may be something else. Horton was coming back from a concussion that kept him out of last year's playoffs, and often players are not themselves when that happens. Getting jumped by Matt Hendricks doesn't really help matters.
And then there was the on-purpose fight, where Jarome Iginla and Horton threw down:
This ended the regular season for Nate.
Then the playoffs came. Nathan Horton was dominant again. He started in the offensive zone more often than Shawn Thornton, and it got him to 2nd-best in points, tied with bro Milan Lucic and just behind David Krejci. His underlying numbers took an upturn, as well, as he went from worst PDO in the top six to best PDO on the team. He was also the only positive CorsiOn of his linemates. Coulda used you guys in the finals, y'all.
Final Grade: B+
Expectations were high for the winger, and he did what he could. A couple bounces here and there and it might look like an A to me.
Enjoy playing with Gaborik, Nathan.