Of all people, why him? Why did it have to be Nathan Horton to score the conference clinching goal? And now, the Boston Bruins go and face Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks for a chance to get their name on the Cup. Could these Stanley Cup Finals be any worse if you’re a Panther fan?
Forgive me if this seems late as I was fortunate enough to spend this past weekend on a cruise, but you may have heard me scream expletives from The Bahamas this past Friday night around 10:30 pm. No Versus on the boat so I relied on the ticker on ESPN on every tv I passed. And then I saw it. 1-0 on a goal from Horton. At that point, I was thankful to be not watching the game to hear the praise being thrown his way.
Call me a hater. Call me whatever, but I’m not exactly happy for Horton. His numbers looked good, and he played well enough here, but he never became the player he could have been. I don’t recall who said it, but I once heard it said of him, “He doesn’t love the game.” He also never became the leader off the ice the Cats needed him to be. Some guys have it, some guys don’t but I always pictured Nathan Horton snickering to himself whenever someone tried to motivate the team.
Now, that’s not to say the situation here was good. We’ve talked about the shortcomings of this organization’s past over and over here on this site. And he has heard every promise from every owner/GM/coach that’s been down around these parts, that can’t be denied. And for all the flack we give Stephen Weiss around these parts, I respect him for saying he wants to win, but wants to win HERE more.
In Boston, he went to just about the perfect situation. They already had good leadership in place, solid roster with great centers and a full building (as long as the Bruins are a playoff team, of course). And despite a good season, he still didn’t put up the numbers many expected him to and the past complaints of Panthers fans became the complaints of Bruins fans. But to give credit where credit is due, he’s had a great playoff run. He’s scored two series clinching goals and is a big reason the B’s are on the verge of ending their lengthy Stanley Cup drought. And if he helps lead them there, Panther fans will be left that familiar feeling of watching former players find glory elsewhere while the post season remains a distant memory.
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