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It’s been quite the last 12 months for Bo Horvat.
Although it feels like a lifetime ago, the ninth overall selection in the 2013 draft was named captain of the Vancouver Canucks on October 9 prior to puck drop against the Los Angeles Kings.
He registered 53 points in 69 before the season paused on March 12.
While the season was on pause, Horvat’s wife Holly gave birth to their first child, Gunnar, on June 28.
Now, back in the bubble, the captain has been an absolute leader for this young, energetic Canucks team with six goals and eight points in six games. He’s scored crucial goals, and his MVP-like presence has alleviated pressure from Quinn Hughes, Elias Pettersson, and Brock Boeser as well.
(Not that those three need any pressure alleviated with a combined 22 points in 18 games, but I digress).
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It’s clear Horvat is playing the best hockey of his life right now. Whether he’s hitting his prime, activating dad mode, or both, it’s been a joy for fans to watch the captain come into his own.
So, continue to enjoy watching Horvat flourish by enjoying these seven “monster” moments again below.
1. He’s a menace on the power play
Horvat’s success on the power play has been a pleasant carryover from the regular season. He cemented himself as the trigger man in the slot on the power play, in part helping the Canucks ice the fourth-best power play in the NHL this season.
Horvat himself had 12 power play goals on the season, which was tied with the likes of Auston Matthews and Nathan Mackinnon, among others.
So far in the postseason, he’s added a couple more power play markers as well.
Horvat with a perfect tip on Hughes' shot and the Wild are down 4-1 pic.twitter.com/yTUZVmILYx
— CJ Fogler #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) August 5, 2020
The captain is a heads-up player in the offensive zone, as shown by his tip-in goal above.
He’s also pretty good as the trigger man too.
Bo Horvat buries the one timer to put the Canucks (+129) out in front 1-0
— Bet The Pucks (@betthepucks) August 13, 2020
2. Stepping up in the rush
While Horvat is lauded as a two-way shutdown center, he’s managed to garner his fair share of opportunities on odd-man rushes in the postseason.
— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) August 6, 2020
And to think, if Minnesota Wild goaltender Alex Stalock doesn’t make this save, the Canucks captain could have SEVEN goals in six games.
3. Setting up his teammates on the rush as well
This was another near miss on the scoresheet for Horvat.
His fake shot/pass to Tanner Pearson completely fooled St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington.
— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) August 15, 2020
If it weren’t for a couple near misses and/or great saves by the opposing goaltender, Horvat could very well be leading the entire NHL in postseason points.
4. Bo knows the greasy areas and clutch goals
This goal feels like a long time ago now, but it’s easy to forget that the Rodney, Ontario native scored the tying goal late in Game 4 against the Wild.
— Daniel Wagner (@passittobulis) August 8, 2020
Little did we know, that was merely the beginning of Horvat’s clutch goal-scoring streak.
5. Against St. Louis, the dangles began to shine
Who felt worse after Game 1: Jordan Binnington or Vince Dunn?
Binnington surely didn’t have a great night, but Dunn was absolutely annihilated by Horvat’s dekes prior to this beautiful tally.
— Daniel Wagner (@passittobulis) August 13, 2020
And one more look, just for good measure.
Bo Horvat walks Vince Dunn and beats Jordan Binnington pic.twitter.com/B9ZrWzFLj1
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) August 13, 2020
6. Deke SZN 2.0
It’s hard to believe that less than 48 hours later, the captain was able to score a goal that was arguably even prettier than his one the game before.
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) August 14, 2020
7. Bo’s biggest goal in the bubble (so far)
Even though Horvat’s name had already been trending on social media after multiple jaw-dropping tallies, the clutch nature of this goal cannot be underestimated.
The Canucks were in a situation against the Blues where four things were working against them:
1) Tyler Myers had left the game with an injury.
2) The Canucks were not getting any help from the refs.
3) The Blues were dominating at five-on-five
4) St. Louis carried the momentum into overtime with the tying marker.
Even with all of that working against them, Horvat (and Hughes) pulled this off.
Don't sleep on the Hughes pass to set up Horvat – it was as nice as the goal! pic.twitter.com/xFr4PXDn5T
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) August 15, 2020
Just to cap it off, Horvat recently passed Pavel Bure for the most goals by any Canucks player in their first 12 playoff games with the team.
Coming up huge once again for the @Canucks tonight, Bo Horvat has made the most of his 1st playoff appearances since 2015 as he's scored 6 times in just 6 games to give him the most goals here (among players to suit up with VAN early on in their #StanleyCup Playoff careers) pic.twitter.com/KxAl2BrfzG
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) August 15, 2020
Anytime you pass Bure on an all-time Canucks list, you’re doing something right.
Even former Canuck Cliff Ronning was getting in on the Bure/Horvat action.
Holy HORVAT that goal reminded me of a guy named BURE ! pic.twitter.com/oNShXlgmCC
— Cliff Ronning (@CliffRonning7) August 14, 2020