|X-Factors: Nathan Horton||08.26.10 at 12:29 am ET|
Each day this week, WEEI.com will be putting a player or position in the spotlight based on their ‘X-factor’ status entering the season. So far, we’ve taken a look at Michael Ryder, Blake Wheeler, and the goaltending position. Up next is Nathan Horton, who is undoubtedly primed for a big season, but is there a point at which placing huge expectations on a top player can become detrimental?
The definition of “X-factor” could be called into question here given that Horton is expected to be a first-line winger and potentially the team’s top scorer. That certainly doesn’t sound like a qualifying case for this series, but the truth is that there are so many variables that come into play with Horton that it would be unwise to take anything as being a given. After all, huge expectations that were outside what Horton could do in the Panthers’ offense were what plagued his career in Florida.
For starters, it seemed quite clear when Horton first came to Boston that this is the environment in which he wanted to be. In fact, he appeared rather nervous when he was introduced alongside Tyler Seguin. So why is this good? Because Horton has appeared throughout his young career (he’s still 25) that he is ready to explode in the right situation. It seems he has that here with the Bruins, and it’s apparent that he’s excited to finally have the chance.
If Horton blossoms into the 40-goal scorer that many think he will become when placed to the right of Marc Savard, he will actually double his goals from last season. Whether or not such a feat is actually attainable remains to be seen, but playing on a team with what he called “stability” that the Panthers lacked could go a long way. A long way, yes, but far enough to make him one of the top scorers in the league?
The Bruins haven’t had a player rack up 40 goals in a season since the 2002-03 campaign, when Glen Murray finished fifth in the league with 44 (Joe Thornton wasn’t far behind with 36). How Horton gels with Savard will go a long way in determining whether he’s the next (it’s hard not to imagine Seguin getting to there within a few seasons) to do so. Horton’s spent his career with either with centers below Savard’s skillet or playing the position himself. Finally having someone who can set him up and also needs to be accounted for means big things should be in store, and that maybe those projections aren’t too crazy. Read the rest of this entry »
|TV schedule released, very little NBC for B’s||08.25.10 at 4:12 pm ET|
It looks like anyone who fancies watching Sunday hockey on NBC will have to stick to the Rangers. The NHL has released its television schedule for the coming season and the hometown team isn’t exactly well-represented by the network. Here’s where you can find the Bruins in 2010-11 when they’re not on NESN.
VS. (all teams EST)
October 9 vs. Phoenix (Prague, Czech Republic), 6:00 p.m.
October 19 at Washington, 7:30 p.m.
November 17 at New York Rangers, 7:00 p.m.
November 22 at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
December 7 vs. Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
December 20 vs. Anaheim, 7:30 p.m.
December 28 at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
January 10 at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.
February 9, vs. Montreal, 7:00 p.m.
March 29 vs. Chicago, 7:30 p.m.
April 4 at New York Rangers, 7:30 p.m.
The following two games are NBC “flex” games that the network will have the option of airing:
February 13 at Detroit, TBD
April 10 at New Jersey, TBD
|Season tickets sold out||07.26.10 at 12:18 pm ET|
The Bruins announced via press release Monday that full season ticket packages for the 2010-2011 season are now sold out, an encouraging sign late in an offseason that has been very busy for the Bruins.
Though full packages throughout the loge and balcony are no longer available, some packages remain an option for interested fans. Half-season (21 games), 10-game, and five-game plans in addition to Premium Club memberships remain available.
Tyler Seguin and Nathan Horton have likely been selling points for fans, as they look to improve what was the worst offense in the NHL. The defensive core has largely been kept in tact, with Dennis Wideman shipped to Florida in exchange for Horton. Both Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask remain on the roster, rounding out a team that on paper has seen only upgrades over the summer.
|Seguin, Horton toss out first pitches||06.29.10 at 9:19 pm ET|
BOSTON — Wrapping up the third and final stop of Tyler Seguin and Nathan Horton’s introductory tour of Boston, the two new Bruins threw out ceremonial first pitches prior the Rays/Red Sox game Tuesday night. Click here for the slideshow or click the picture below for more.
BOSTON — Street hockey, that is. After meeting the press at the Garden less than four hours earlier, new Bruins Tyler Seguin and Nathan Horton played some outdoor puck with local youths at Puopolo Park in the North End.
“It’s not too bad,” Seguin said of a day that has already seen an airplane and two media events. “The flight this morning was an hour long and then the press conference, then this. I think when Fenway Park kind of hits I think it’s going to be a long day, but it should be lots of fun.”
Seguin and Horton continued the fun by teaming with the local youths as part of the Bruins Street Brigade. The two seemed to enjoy the entire event (with the exception of Seguin getting hit with multiple balls that he jokingly wrote off as “blocked shots”).
“Back in Plymouth in the OHL we always tried to give back to the fans for all the support they’d given us, and this is a nice event to start off my experience here in Boston,” Seguin said. “Just to meet some of the fans and play a little hockey.”
The event got off to an interesting start, as the first two shots Tyler Seguin took as a member of the Boston Bruins were saved by an 11 year-old named Chris. Seguin continued to take warmup shots with the kids while advising them on basics, such as how to curve a stick.
Once the game kicked off, it was fairly apparent Seguin and Horton appear to have developed quite the rapport as they spend the entire day together. After Horton’s team scored their fourth goal, former Bruin Tommy Songin shouted , “Horton with the assist!” Seguin immediately responded with “Horton with his first point of the game! He finally decides to get out there and do something.”
Based on what Horton told the media before the game, he could have taken offense. Asked if he played street hockey as a child, he responded, “All the time.”
“That’s the thing to do when you’re little: play street hockey and play it all day long,” Horton said. “I did it all the time and still continue to play.”
Meanwhile, Seguin, who didn’t shy away from talking to his fans (he even sarcastically called a kid out for cherry-picking), used the game to shake the rust off for developmental camp, which will take place July 6-10.
“I haven’t played hockey in about two weeks, so this is getting me ready for next week’s development camp,” Seguin said.
There were a few laughable points of the event, with perhaps none being funnier than the awkward encounter that occured when a youth told Seguin that acquaintance and OHL/draft stock rival Taylor Hall “is not even that good.” Seguin didn’t respond but smirked as he looked down.
On the contrary, however, Horton and Seguin actually contributed quite a bit to the game, with Seguin adding a valuable defensive presence to the black team (a.k.a the “Bruins) and Horton setting up gold team (“Better Bruins”) youngsters. The Bruins won the game, as a local named Huey notched a hat trick and recieved a Bruins gift bag from Seguin and Horton for his hard work.
|Photo slideshow: Seguin and Horton’s Introduction||at 2:02 pm ET|
|Tyler’s first day: ‘It’s amazing’||at 12:58 pm ET|
On the first stop of Tyler and Nathan’s tour of Boston, the newcomers Tyler Seguin (second overall pick in the 2010 NHL draft) and Nathan Horton (acquired in a trade last week with the Panthers) just finished meeting the media. From here they will go to the North End for a youth hockey clinic and later head to Fenway Park to throw out ceremonial first pitches prior to Tuesday night’s Rays/Red Sox game.
Though the 18-year old Seguin fielded a ton of questions and had to deal with the talk that surrounds being the first to wear No. 19 since Joe Thornton, it was actually Horton who was shaking and seemed extremely anxious to finally play for a contending team.
“For me personally, it’s a dream come true to come to such a stable, successful, and historic organization,” Horton said. “I couldn’t be more excited or nervous. I can’t wait for it to start. I’m excited to be a Boston Bruin and be part of the Bruin family.
“For me, obviously, it was fun to play with Florida where I started my career,” Horton added. “Once again, it’ll be a little different here. There are so many things running through my head right now. I’m just excited.”
Meanwhile, Seguin, who last week spoke of his excitement to play in a “hockey town” such as Boston, can today learn that the devoted fans in New England don’t stop at hockey.
“It’s amazing,” Seguin said of playing in not only a hockey town, but a global sports landmark. “I’d been here once before and I just thought it was a phenomenal place. I got to meet some of the fans and I can already see the atmosphere that’s going to be formed here.”
As for that first pitch, Seguin admitted he doesn’t have much experience on the diamond outside a round of batting practice taken last week at Angel Stadium prior to the draft.
“I’ve never really played baseball before,” Seguin said, “but I was practicing yesterday and hopefully today goes good.”
Not that there is an unbalanced interest in either of the two offenses forces to join the Bruins, but there was certainly a difference in media reaction when Seguin held up his new number alongside Horton’s No. 18.
Many of the questions Seguin then answered were about the number, which he had planned on wearing in juniors but never got the chance to in Plymouth. He then wore No. 9, which is obviously retired in Boston for Johnny Bucyk, so he finally took the opportunity to pay tribute to his favorite player in Steve Yzerman.
“What we talked about it, but what Tyler and I spoke about was, ‘Look, you’re getting a number, Ty,'” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said. I think he’s very humble. He’s nervous, but he’s also very humble and he was like, ‘Look, Peter. I know I have to earn a spot.’ As far as it relates to Thornton, no, I’m not concerned about that.”
Seguin doesn’t seemed too concerned with it either.
“That’s OK,” Seguin said of the expectations that come with the number. “Obviously I still have to make the NHL club, but if you’re going to compare me to guys like that, obviously I’d be thrilled.”
We’ll have another update following the youth hockey clinic, so stick with us throughout the day.