Nathan Horton may be lying, just a little bit. At this time of the year, though, that’s the way of the world in the NHL.
Horton declared himself ready to go for Saturday night’s Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final despite leaving Game 1 with a shoulder injury, from which he did not return. However, he says he feels good, and he’s going to give it a go against the Blackhawks. In fact, the shoulder isn’t giving him any problems, or so he says.
“I’m not in any pain,” Horton told reporters after participating in the Bruins’ morning skate Saturday in Chicago. “I feel good. Like I said, I’m ready to play. That’s it. I’m just excited to get out there.”
Horton also insisted that he won’t have any limitations when he takes the ice for the second game as Boston looks to even the series after a triple-overtime loss to the Blackhawks. There’s probably a good chance Horton is targeted by the Hawks, but that’s something he’s not worried about at this point, either.
“It’s the playoffs,” Horton said. “Everyone’s playing physical. Everyone is playing strong. That’s the way the game is out there. Like I said, I have no limitations. You know, I’m good to go.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien has liked how Horton has bounced back from reaggravating the shoulder, as the Boston winger practiced Thursday as well.
“He feels really good,” Julien said. “He looked really good out there, the last two days. There’s absolutely no reason he shouldn’t play tonight.”
It’s probably unlikely Horton isn’t feeling any pain at all, but he’s reportedly been receiving pregame injections for some time now, and there’s no denying his importance to the Bruins. Horton is second in the league in playoff points behind linemate David Krejci.