CHICAGO (CBS) – Although he practiced Friday at United Center with his teammates, Bruins forward Nathan Horton’s status for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals is up in the air.
In preparation for the second game of this series, which the Bruins trail 1-0 to Chicago, Boston skated several different line combinations to make sure it’s ready for a game with or without Horton.
However, even if Horton is able to take a shot and get right back into the action after leaving Game 1 in overtime because of his shoulder injury, the Bruins should be prepared to play like he’s not there. Because the more these injuries occur, the more they hurt, and the less effective a player will be.
Related: Horton Skates On Friday
Horton could shock the world and continue on his torrid playoff pace (18 points in 17 games, league-high plus-22 rating) despite his debilitating injury. Or his production could taper off, in the more-likely scenario. That’s why it’s time for other Bruins who are supposed to be point producers to actually put some offensive numbers on the score sheet now that the end of the postseason is within sight.
Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley have scored one goal apiece. For much of the last couple weeks they’ve been linemates. Now they’re equally responsible for making sure that regardless of what Horton can provide the Bruins, his contribution isn’t necessary.
Since his goal in Game 3 of the first round against Toronto, Peverley is point-less. At least he’s finally sick of talking about trying and wants to begin doing.
“I hope so. I’d like that. It’s not about creating chances anymore. I’d like to get some production,” Peverley said before the finals started.
Seguin recorded an assist on Patrice Bergeron’s power-play goal in Game 1 against Chicago. That snapped a four-game point-less drought. He’s still only scored one goal the whole playoffs. Bumped up into Horton’s spot in overtime, Seguin had several chances to end the game. Instead his frustrating lack of goals continued, partly because of luck and mostly because of his inability to ramp his playing level to playoff highs and get over his fear of getting “dirty.”
The player who enters the lineup for Horton, if he’s out or just ineffective, won’t be the one replacing him. It’ll be up to one of the Bruins’ established regulars to pick up the slack. And that means it’s time for Seguin and/or Peverley to come to life. Or the Bruins won’t be alive for much longer.