Fantasy Hockey Impact: Nathan Horton

WRITTEN BY CHRIS WASSEL | 07 JUNE 2011 

 

(Photo Credit:  Getty Images)

Well sadly this one was seen coming after the hit last night but Nathan Horton is indeed out for the rest of the playoffs after suffering a severe concussion.  He is out of the hospital but his hockey playing is over until next season.

The hit was clearly late but the definition of late has come under some scrutiny which it should never honestly.  Most leagues use a half second rule (15 frames) but the NHL apparently uses almost three quarters of a second (which is an extra 6-8 frames or so).  That does not sound like much of a difference but it can be in these types of fierce hits.

Clearly the Bruins rallied around their fallen teammate but as the series goes on, will this be or not be what ultimately derails the Bruins from their goal of winning theStanley Cup?  While Aaron Rome getting suspended may be a great thing for Vancouver in the long run, the same cannot be said about Horton at all.

While Nathan Horton was not setting the world on fire, he did have 17 points in 18 playoff games before facing Vancouver.  Something that has not been said was the simple point that Horton had no points in 2+ games against the Canucks and was pretty much a non factor in Game 2 with only 1 scoring chance and 1 shot on goal.

By the way, Horton had five shots in game one but only two scoring chances.  It may sound cold to say but the injury to Nathan Horton may have finally woke up theBoston Bruins despite Vancouver’s incessant ability to try and overstir the honey pot so to speak.  The clear results was last night’s 8-1 victory but what will the long term effects be?

This is not a very easy question to answer because as always it is hard to guess the future.  Now if you take the projection from the first 2+ games, Horton would have little or no fantasy impact at all but he is a streaky scorer so that would be unfair.  After all, Horton had two droughts of two games in a row in the Tampa series and Montreal series.  People forget that by Game 3 of the Montreal series, Boston fans were wondering when he was going to show up.

We took a lot of factors into account when coming up on a verdict on what Boston would lose without Nathan Horton being in the lineup for the rest of the Finals.  Shots on goal, scoring chances, and of course points and plus/minus were factored in.

Indeed it was helpful that therewas an option to play NHL11 with Horton and without him.  We did not run Games 4-7 just once but did it three times each actually so we could get a rough average of what the impact could have been.  Without revealing the game scores, the concern here is just what the absence of Horton meant in terms of fantasy pools and the such.

Now here is our official projections:

 

  • Game 4:  1 goal, 1 assist, 4 SOG, +1
  • Game 5:  1 assist, 3 SOG, -1
  • Game 6:  1 goal, 1 assist, 5 SOG, +2

There was only one Game 7 projection which had Horton scoring twice and tallying the game tying goal but not the game winner.  Clearly it takes Horton a couple games to get warmed up and who knows, we just happen to think he would have made a big impact as the series went forward.

Now we will never know so give us your thoughts on what might have been.

As a sort of postscript, guys like David Krejci and Milan Lucic will be expected of more to be honest and we have already seen what Mark Recchi and Rich Peverleycan bring to the table when angry enough.  It will be more interesting to see if Tim Thomas can keep playing like he did in Game 3 with his defense clearing out just enough troublesome rebounds.

Thursday we will take a look at the impact of Boston on Roberto Luongo.  Stay tuned.

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Posted on June 7, 2011, in Boston Bruins, NHL Playoffs. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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