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So it turns out this season is maybe not what it seemed to be for Bo Horvat. Or maybe it was, and now isn’t?
Hard to know for sure, especially when it comes to a Vancouver Canucks captain who doesn’t tend to make things about himself.
Whatever happened this season, it’s resulted in Horvat joining J.T. Miller in the glow of a torrid scoring stretch.
B-OMG 🤩🤩🤩 pic.twitter.com/1Q99jxMlmp
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) March 16, 2022
We’ve talked about Miller a lot of course. And part of that discussion has been a bit of a sidebar on Miller’s ascension “above” Horvat. And that’s ok, a captain doesn’t have to be the leading scorer on the team, or the only leader. But we should now update exactly how far Miller has ascended above Horvat, because here comes the captain!
On the strength of a two-goal, one-assist effort against the New Jersey Devils, Horvat has 14 points in his last 10 games — by far the best stretch of his season. And it’s rescued his season statistically.
At 22 goals, his career high of 27 is all of a sudden in reach. And at 40 points, while he won’t likely set a career high there, he could quite possibly get to his second highest mark if he passes 53 points.
And none of this would have seemed possible at the halfway mark of his season, or even just 10 games ago. Ten games ago, Horvat was suffering through a three points in eight games stretch that just happened to coincide with his return from a week and half on the shelf with COVID.
“He was a true leader tonight. He was vocal on the bench – a true captain tonight.”
– Boudreau on Horvat’s performance
— Isabella Urbani (@TheChick4Stick) March 16, 2022
We may never now what effect that had on him. He hasn’t been forthcoming on that yet, and to be fair, he was still playing 20 minutes a night during that stretch. But maybe not quite himself. And hey, he wasn’t quite himself in the first half of the season either. Better than three points every 8 games, but not quite himself. He had 23 points in 38 games, which isn’t quite a 50-point pace.
Whatever it was early this season, whatever it was in the middle. Horvat seems to be finishing strong, which is not the first time he’s done that, even back to his sophomore season, when he collected 30 of his 40 points, after January 1.
Hard to know if it will be enough for this team to win a spot in the playoffs, but the questions of production and leadership have certainly been defeated.