He hit the 30 goal mark for the first time in his career and is the first Canuck to score 30 since Radim Vrbata scored 31 in the 2014-15 season. Horvat is the first Canucks captain to score at least 30 goals since Markus Naslund did that in the 2005-06 season.
He joined a list of notable captains who have scored at least 30 goals this season. Are the other guys any good? Yeah.
Horvat also added an assist and went 17-0 in the face-off circle.
The 27-year-old says that he is playing with confidence and it took him time to get going after catching COVID-19.
Since the All-Star break, Horvat has scored 17 goals which leads all the Canucks since the break. He had 13 before the break. Since the break, he and Tanner Pearson are tied for the team lead in goals for percentage with 58.06% according to NaturalStatTrick. Before the break, Horvat’s goals for percentage was at 48. 57%. Safe to say that is a significant improvement.
While Horvat is scoring goals, he only has 19 assists this season and it would be better if he can pump the assists up. He is on pace to score 34 goals and 21 assists for 55 points. Those aren’t bad numbers. In fact, that would be the second-highest point total of Horvat’s career as his career-high is 61 points in the 2018-19 season.
However, Horvat has had some tough times this season. Aside from being out of the lineup with COVID, there were times when he just looked invisible on the ice. He has gone numerous spells without a goal and/or an assist. That included a 10-game stretch without an assist with ended Thursday night in Glendale. When he isn’t on his game, he keeps losing the puck and he gets very few scoring chances. When he is on his game, he shows good acceleration down the ice and displays good playmaking skills and gets scoring chances.
There needs to be more consistency for Horvat. It just isn’t good seeing the captain through dry spells but when he gets going, he shows how good of a leader he is on the ice. Sure, J.T. Miller is the more vocal leader on the ice and in the locker room but having a more quiet leader like Horvat doesn’t help either. The Sedins were leaders but they never were the loudest in the room because Ryan Kesler was the more vocal guy.
As mentioned in the above Tweet, the time out with COVID really got to Horvat. It took him some time but he eventually found his footing.
On social media, he was getting a lot of criticism with some saying he should be stripped of the captaincy or be traded. Horvat apparently liked a bunch of Tweets criticizing his play and since then, has been on a tear.
Horvat has had his doubters for years. Many experts criticized his skating in his draft year. After his draft plus one season, he worked on his skating in Ontario with skating coach Kathy McLlwain and his improved skating helped him make the NHL full-time that fall. He uses the doubters as motivation and that’s a good mentality to have.
Horvat is having a good season in a year full of ups and downs. He just needs to find some consistency.