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.

Sunday Dec. 4: Zacha adjusting to life in the NHL

Sunday Dec. 4: Zacha adjusting to life in the NHL

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while marveling at the Bruins setting a franchise record this season for fewest practices in a regular season. Thanks compacted schedule due to the World Cup!

*Pavel Zacha is adjusting to life as a rookie in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils, and things are getting better as they go along.

*Manitoba Moose players relive their favorite Star Wars moments prior to the team holding their Star Wars Night.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Elliotte Friedman sits down with new Florida Panthers head coach Tom Rowe to discuss the massive changes in that organization with the firing of Gerard Gallant.

*Good for Anders Nilson putting a rainbow decal on the back of his goalie to mask to support some gay friends that have faced public resistance in their lives.

*Bruce Garrioch has his weekly NHL notes with several players, including Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald, potentially on the trade block if anybody wants them.

*PHT writer Cam Tucker has Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson suffering a broken leg that will keep him out 6-8 weeks.

*There was no blood for the Vancouver Canucks fans, but there was still plenty of drama in a win over the Maple Leafs.

*For something completely different: The World Baseball Classic works for everybody except for Major League Baseball, and that would appear to be a problem.