By The Numbers: Nathan Horton
Wednesday, 05.20.2009 / 3:31 PM / By The Numbers
Panthers By The Numbers takes a closer look at some of the
interesting stats that you may or may have not known about.
2008-09 SEASON FOR NATHAN HORTON
1 – Looked upon to be an offensive leader this season, Nathan Horton was just that (22 goals). What makes it even harder to imagine, is that he had just one multi-goal game this season, scoring twice against Pittsburgh on January 3rd.
2 – Despite missing 15 games due to various injuries and only one-multi goal game, Horton still finished second on the team in scoring, registering 22 goals during the 2008-09 campaign.
3 – Down 3-1 late in their game on November 6th against the Kings, the Panthers were looking to get a late rally going. It had mixed results. Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester was sent to the box for hooking with 2:46 left. Then with over a minute left to play, the Cats pulled Tomas Vokoun to get back to even. It worked as Horton scored from the top of the right circle with 51 seconds remaining to bring the score to 3-2. But that’s where it ended. Despite the pulled goalie, the goal went down as a shorthanded marker for Horton, the third of his career (one each in 2003-04, 2006-07 and 2008-09).
3 – Known for his sniping skills coming out of his draft year and early in his career, Horton showed some touch, setting up three goals as the Panthers came back from a 3-1 deficit on January 17th to defeat Tampa Bay 4-3. What’s even better is that all three helpers came in the second period. He set up Cory Stillman’s power play goal, making it 3-2, and picked up the second assist on Richard Zednik’s tying goal and Bouwmeester’s eventual game-winner with about a second left on the clock.
4 – Playing only in 67 games, Horton was still able to reach the 20-goal plateau for his fourth straight season. He was one of only three Cats to reach that mark (David Booth – 31, Michael Frolik – 21).
4 – Horton’s season got off to a roaring start as he picked up points in the team’s first four games. He had a goal in the Cats 6-4 season opening loss to Carolina before picking up assists in each of the next three games, including the main assist on Booth’s overtime game-winner on October 11th against Atlanta. The four-game point streak was a season high.
5 – The Cats finished with their second best season in terms of points (93) in franchise history and tied for second in wins (41). Some of that is thanks to Horton who had a career high five game winners. That tied him for the team lead with Booth.
7 – Going back to that October 11th home opener against Atlanta. Horton was all over the ice in the offensive zone, especially late in the game. Besides setting up Booth’s winner, he finished with eight shots on net (season-high). Seven of those shots came in the third period. That was a Panthers high during the 2008-09 season.
12 – Trying to get his new system across to the players, head coach Peter Deboer leaned heavily on Horton early in the season, one of his most offensively gifted forwards. He finished with 20 or more minutes of playing time 12 times during the season. At one particular time, he had hit that mark six times in a row (October 30th-November 9th) and in nine out of 10 games (October 30th-November 20th).
16.8 – Looking at the percentages, Horton would lead the team (more than five games played) in shooting percentage, finding the back of the net 16.8% of the time he shot the puck. (Michael Repik finished with a shooting percentage of 28.6% in five games played.) While not a career high (reached 17.3% twice), it was a 4.1% increase from last season.
30+ – It’s easy for a defenseman to reach the 30 shift mark in a game, especially if they’re in the top pairing. But for a forward, unless your name is Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin, that’s highly unusual. Horton hit the 30 shift mark three times this past season. He had 30 shifts on Nov 2nd at Atlanta in which he finished with a season-high 24:13 of ice time. He had a season-high 31 shifts on November 8th at Phoenix (22:03) and 30 shifts November 18th (22:25) at Tampa Bay.
72.2 – Trying to fill the need for a center with the trade of Olli Jokinen in the off-season, Horton was used several times in the pivot throughout this season. Not really playing center since his junior days, Horton had mixed results. He did win just 43.7% in the face-off circle but he had some very strong games at the draw. Horton finished winning 75% of his draws three times, but it was the October 16th game against Minnesota that he might have had his best game. There he won 13 of 18 face-offs (72.2%). Not bad for just his third regular season game at center in about six seasons.
100 – One of those milestones, dropping off a pass for Booth who beat Michael Leighton with a wrister 7:04 into their game against Carolina on November 24, Horton picked up the 100th assist of his career.
200 – Down 4-1 in their game against Atlanta on November 2, Horton not only brought the score closer with a tally with 1:40 left in the second, but also reached another milestone. The goal was the 200th point of his career. He became the eighth player in franchise history to record 200 points (Later joined by Stephen Weiss, Radek Dvorak and Bouwmeester during the season).
200 – It was a tough year in terms of freak injuries for Horton. He was sidelined twice (lacerated ankle costing him nine games in November and December and lacerated finger resulting in six more missed games in March). The first injury ended a pretty impressive streak. Horton had played in 200 straight games before missing the game on November 28th after his ankle was cut in the third period against New Jersey on November 26th. The last time he had missed a game was March 18, 2006 at Washington.
300 – Just one game and one day before Horton recorded his 200th point, Horton had hit another milestone. Suiting up for the game against Nashville on November 1st, Horton played in his 300th career game (15th player to play in 300 games with the Panthers).