It’s difficult to face the media after an embarrassing loss. A team’s captain protects their players and Bo Horvat is the guy very willing to do that now.
Vancouver Canucks fans have already declared Bo Horvat the next team captain, whether the organization is ready or not. Leadership is talked about so much in hockey, it can sometimes lose its meaning. There are a lot of hockey people that say a lot of nice things, but actions speak far louder than words.
I keep circling back to that 6-0 loss to the Oilers and yes, it’s only preseason. But, what happened post-game still has meaning. It wasn’t just how they lost, there is something to be said about how willing the Canucks are to talk about what happened.
The last three years have been trying for every member on the Canucks roster. All players come from competitive backgrounds and there is some part of them hate losing. Because if they enjoyed it, they wouldn’t make it this far in the NHL. Granted, some players don’t work as hard once they make it, but that’s a whole different discussion.
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It sucks to lose and when the team was beaten badly, Henrik Sedin absorbed every bullet fired by the media. Jason Botchford has talked about this frequently on the Patcast. It wears on you to have to keep answering to why the team sucks, why the power play won’t work and how they feel after the most recent losing streak.
With his retirement, there was a big question to see who would step up to the plate. Last season, if the Canucks played poorly, Horvat wanted to be nowhere near the media. He is his own toughest critic and didn’t want to vent to the media guys doing their job.
There is a certain image hockey players are forced to keep up when talking to media, which is sad because it gives the sport a reputation of having boring and uninteresting athletes. Sure, they are talented, but when your personality is dulled down because of hockey culture, sometimes you question how much fun it is for them out there.
But this year is different. Horvat is ready to grab that leadership role by the horns, letter or no letter. That’s why it matters more to just media members that after that drubbing from the Oilers, Horvat was one of the few people left in the room, ready to answer any questions his way.
Oddly enough, Jay Beagle conveniently disappeared from any questioning. Guess he was still stuck in his own end of the rink. This may not seem important to you, but Bo Horvat is truly emerging as a leader on this team.
Which is a lot more than the so-called “leadership” brought in by Jim Benning. Horvat observed the best of Henrik Sedin and I still believe he will be this team’s future captain. The next Canucks captain will have to face our media with a reputation for negativity (although that is not very true). Horvat is on the right track and seems well prepared.