Nathan Horton

Horton: “I’m not Wayne Gretzky”


Being a pro hockey player can be filled with tests. When you get called out by your coach, the way Claude Julien did to Nathan Horton, how you respond to criticism makes for a tough test.

While the Bruins lost to Tampa Bay last night in a disappointing effort, the one guy that did show up was Horton. Horton had two goals on the night and showed what he can do when he asserts himself. Did he have any encouraging words for his coach after showing up in a big way on the score sheet?’s Joe Haggerty finds out that Horton kept things in check by pointing out the obvious.

“I definitely need to get shots on net more. I’m not Wayne Gretzky. Sometimes people think I am. I want to do the best I can and I’m out there trying. Whether it’s back-checking or just working hard I just always want to be myself. I do need to get my shots off and get more than one or two . . . that’s something I need to work on.”

If Wayne Gretzky played for these Bruins he’d be even better protected than he was when he had Marty McSorely and Dave Semenko watching his back. As it is, Horton getting his game back last night was the lone bright spot for the Bruins in what turned out to be a miserable effort against one of the East’s worst teams.

Maybe Julien can spend today calling everyone else out that failed to show up last night.

On a new contract, Avs don’t dress Stuart in opener

DENVER, CO - MARCH 14:  Brad Stuart #17 of the Colorado Avalanche looks on as he skates against the Calgary Flames at Pepsi Center on March 14, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Flames 3-2.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Brad Stuart wasn’t on the ice for the first game of his two-year, $7.2 million contract and it had nothing to do with his health.

Avalanche coach Patrick Roy felt Stuart simply wasn’t one of the six best defensemen in training camp and consequently he wasn’t in the lineup, per the Denver Post.

“Things could change for the next game,” Roy offered. “Like I said (Wednesday), we’re going to use those eight D all year long. (Last night was) just the first game of the season.”

Perhaps, but it’s still a terrible indicator, especially given that Stuart will turn 36 on Nov. 6. Stuart is a veteran of over 1,000 games, but now the question is if he has enough left in the tank to provide Colorado with much value.

The Avalanche also scratched defenseman Brandon Gormley, who was acquired from the Coyotes in exchange for Stefan Elliott. The hope was that both players would benefit from the change in scenery. Gormley was taken with the 13th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but has only played in 32 career NHL games.

PHT Morning Skate: Beat writers survey predicts Ducks will win Cup

Corey Perry, Frederik Andersen
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

In a survey of 29 beat writers, the Anaheim Ducks emerged as the clear favorite to win the Stanley Cup. If you’ll recall, they have that in common with the EA Sports simulation. (Boston Globe)

Alex Ovechkin would pick an Olympic hit against Jaromir Jagr as the biggest check of his life. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)

Here are the highlights from Minnesota’s 5-4 victory over Colorado:

The Montreal Canadiens seem committed to using Alex Galchenyuk as a center throughout the 2015-16 campaign. (The Canadian Press)

The NHL recently enlisted its players to read off some not so mean tweets. (USA Today)

Bills coach Rex Ryan talked about the Sabres in Thursday’s press conference. (

Frederik Andersen may have the Anaheim Ducks’ starting job for now, but with John Gibson still a big part of their plans, Andersen has to keep proving himself. (Orange County Register)