January 22, 2012 was a dreadful day for all Bruins fans. It was the day that forward Nathan Horton took a high hit to the head from Flyers’ Tom Sestito and would never return. It has been 30 days since that injury occurred, that’s eleven games Horton has missed.
Some fans wondered at the beginning of the season if Horton was truly ready to come back, if he was really prepared after suffering a concussion in the Stanley Cup Finals from Canucks’ Aaron Rome, leaving him blacked out on the ice and needing help from the training staff to stand.
This recent concussion was graded a “mild concussion” after the blindside hit from Sestito, and would appear that Horton should be back in no time, especially after seemingly fast pace he returned at prior to. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case and there is no timetable for his return.
After practice in St.Louis today, Julien stated that:
“It is going to be awhile. He’s not close right now.”(via CSNNE.com)
Horton has yet to set foot on the ice since the incident took place and is not expected to in the near future. While the team is full of hope for Horton’s return by the end of the regular season, the light at the end of the tunnel appears to be very dim as of late as there are only 25 games remaining.
The Bruins are trying not to use it as an excuse, but they’ve been shut out four times in 11 games without Horton while watching their goal production drop from 3.72 goals per game to 1.8 goals per game. Those kinds of numbers speak for themselves as does the players and coaches bemoaning their lack of net-front presence over the last few weeks. (via CSNNE.com)
While GM Peter Chiarelli admittedly said the thought of trading Horton has crossed his mind,there are few promising prospects to replace the six-foot0two, 220 pound winger who is capable of scoring 20+ goals and being a key aspect of the team.
“It does have an effect. [The injuries] have disrupted our lines and our chemistry with each other. We’ve had to move guys around and that’s been a challenge,” said Julien. “You still have to overcome those things. It’s not an excuse. It’s reality. But we’re still a better team than the one that’s been shut out lately.”(via CSNNE.com)
The Bruins are going to have to find some way to prove that they can manage to produce some wins in the next few games without the likes of Horton coming around any time soon. With this being his second concussion in an eight month span, it is likely we may not see him until next season unfortunately.