Slumping Horton: Lots of work, not much luck

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Slumping Horton: Lots of work, not much luck

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

WILMINGTON -- Nathan Horton hasn't scored since Jan. 3. Before that, he hadn't scored since Dec. 11.

In case you don't have your schedule in front of you, that's one goal in his last 17 games.

And it's not as if the scoring chances aren't there. Horton's had plenty, especially since Marc Savard's play has improved by the game. That was no more evident than on Thursday night, as Savard set Horton up for a breakaway in the opening minutes of the Bruins' 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Horton came in all alone on Ryan Miller, after receiving a pretty bank pass off the left boards from Savard.

A confident Horton would have tried to pick a corner with a snap shot. Instead, the struggling Horton -- who admitted to possibly thinking too much -- decided to fake a shot and deke left, only to be stopped by Miller's extended right pad.

Horton didn't talk to the media after the game, but did answer questions about his scoring drought after practice on Friday at Ristuccia Arena.

"I've had a lot of chances, and it's just not going in," said Horton. "It's definitely frustrating, but there's nothing I can do except keep working hard. I made a couple mistakes there last game, and it's my bad. I take responsibility for that. It's my fault. Just try to cut back on those, and hopefully start producing.

"There's nothing else to do, other than just keep working hard," he said. "They're eventually going to go in, I think. I've never been like this before, but I've never worked this hard either, so maybe I'm working too hard. Just kind of relax and let it come. Just try to have some fun out there."

Horton has 12 goals this season. Before being traded to Boston from Florida this past offseason, the 25-year-old winger had his fair share of critics, who claimed he disappeared at times during the regular season.

Some thought those disappearing acts would go away once he was traded to a contender. And while, right now, pucks aren't going in for him, Horton was adamant that this type of disappearing was for a different reason:

The effort is there, but the luck isn't.

"I am getting chances, and I am trying," said Horton. "They're just not going in. It would be nice to get some luck, and get a bounce, but it just hasn't been that way. I've just got to look ahead and look towards the next one. Hopefully it does go in, and it would be nice to just get it out of the way."

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.

Morning Skate: Flames land Hamonic in trade with Islanders

Morning Skate: Flames land Hamonic in trade with Islanders

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while touching back down from the Windy City of Chicago.

 

*The Calgary Flames step away as one of the big winners in the NHL Draft weekend after securing defenseman Travis Hamonic on Day 2 of the festivities.

 

*Here’s a good piece on a Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick, and the lengths that hockey families will go to better their career chances.

 

*Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion sure sounds like a guy that’s working to try and deal Dion Phaneuf away from the Sens, doesn’t he?

 

*Cool story about the second round pick of the Los Angeles Kings, and a family background that is just going to become more and more commonplace as time goes by. Congrats to the family on what must have been a great weekend in Chicago.

 

*The Flyers are loading up on draft picks and trading some veterans, but don’t dare call it a rebuild in Philadelphia.

 

*Speaking of picks from Saturday’s second day of the draft, the Blue Jackets actually drafted a kid from the same hometown in the French Alps, Grenoble, as Andre the Giant. That is pretty damn noteworthy.  

 

*For something completely different: I’d always wondered about the backstory with the father in the Toy Story movies, and this is certainly a major bummer of a background story.

Bruins go for a defensive project late with Daniel Bukac

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Bruins go for a defensive project late with Daniel Bukac

CHICAGO – The Bruins finished up their 2017 NHL Draft class with a bit of a project, but a 6-foot-5 defenseman with some great skating wheels is a pretty good way to go with a seventh round pick. The B’s nabbed Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Daniel Bukac with the 204th pick in the draft, and admitted afterward that he’s an ultra-big bodied player that could take some time in the development process.

Bruins assistant GM Scott Bradley said Boston is more than happy to be patient with Bukac given the tools that he’s working with as an 18-year-old prospect. Bukac had two goals and 17 points to go along with 38 penalty minutes in his first season in North America after coming over from the Czech Republic, and Bradley said that B’s scouts noted that he continued to improve and get comfortable as the season wore on.

"He's raw. He's a project. [He’s a] kid from the Czech Republic that played in the Western Hockey League,” said Bradley. “At the start of the year - he's come leaps and bounds with his development. Talking to the people - the coaches, the management, and the GM in Brandon, they're very excited about him coming back to Brandon. They're expecting big things from him. We look forward to seeing him in camp."

Bukac is starting to garner some good international experience after playing for the Czechs in the Under-18’s and the Ivan Hinkla Tournament, but this weekend it was all about his addition to the talented group of Bruins prospects in the hockey world.

"I'm so excited to be drafted by the Boston Bruins," said Bukac, who described himself as a solid two-way defenseman with a good first pass. "It's an awesome feeling. I'm so glad that I was drafted by Boston."