Time flies when you… well, Bo Horvat has been a 10-game member of the New York Islanders.
During that time, the Islanders have played to a 5-3-2 record and progressed from outside the playoffs to a top wildcard finish.
Here’s our analysis of Bo Horvat in an Islanders sweater.
Horvat’s Offensive Output, Eating Minutes
Before heading to Long Island, Bo Horvat was leading the NHL with 31-49 games and 23 assists. He worked at a pace of 0.63 goals per game and shot at a 21.7 percent clip.
In 10 games with New York, Horvat has scored four goals, one of which was disallowed, on 25 shots, one shot 16 percent and three assists.
Islanders head coach Lane Lambert immediately placed the Islanders newcomer alongside Mathew Barzal.
In six games together, a total of 89:22 minutes each NaturalStatrick.comonce the two were on the ice, the islanders beat their opponents 4-2, beat them 51-30 and surpassed them 52-39.
Horvat had scored three goals with one assist in that span.
Horvat has recorded one goal and two assists in three games since Barzal fell to the ground with a lower body injury on February 18. He plays with a mix of linemates while Lambert tries to find the right combinations in his star’s absence.
Horvat has played on five different line combinations in 10 games each MoneyPuck.com:
In terms of eating minutes, Horvat has played over 20 minutes in six of the 10 games, averaging 21:12 minutes per game with New York, a bit more than the 20:49 minutes he averaged in Vancouver.
Horvat’s greatest offense is that he’s not afraid to shoot the puck from any angle. He’s got 2.3 shots per game in blue and orange, and as we saw with his first couple of goals, he can get his shot off pretty quickly.
But then again on Monday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, we saw that when he sees a lane from every angle, he takes advantage as he equalizes the game before Anders Lee gave the Islanders the lead and crucial two points in a comeback brought victory in the third period.
Without Barzal, his best assist, Horvat had the puck a little more on his racquet but has just five shots on target in four games with two assists and that goal. His two assists were crucial, one on Lee’s secondary goal while the other was a primary assist on Simon Holmstrom’s game-winner against the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday.
Horvat’s 200-foot game
After trading with Horvat, there was a lot of talk about his lack of a 200ft game. Despite the concerns, Horvat was more impressive defensively than expected.
Coming from a team that played more of a Dough Weight-like style of hockey, Horvat quickly understood the structure and systems Lambert had put in place.
When Barzal was in the lineup, Horvat’s defensive play was crucial as he was under face-offs, winning puck fights and passing the puck to Barzal for much easier transitions.
Without Barzal, Horvat is still doing it, just not at the same pace. He had to lead the rush as he was feeding pucks from the zone at a higher rate.
And with Jean-Gabriel Pageau in the line-up, Horvat has made his best impression, playing on the power play, penalty and a faceoff machine, winning 53.3 percent of his draws (56 percent in the North).
With New York, he won 58.8 percent of his draws in the offensive zone, 44.82 percent of his draws in the neutral zone, and 53.06 percent of his draws in the defensive zone.
Horvat’s impact on powerplay
When Horvat joined the Islanders, their power play was just 15.5 percent, so they were at the bottom of the NHL. A power play specialist at Vancouver with 11 power play goals in 49 games, the Islanders desperately needed him to turn the tide with man advantage.
In 10 games, the Islanders’ power play is at a clip of 24.14 percent, seven to 29, with goals in six of the 10 games.
Horvat was on the ice for all six, with one goal and one assist.
The 27-year-old has won 65.1 percent of his power play draws and filled the role of bumper position on top unit.
The islanders’ power play is now at 17 percent, which isn’t great, but it’s a bit higher than when Horvat arrived.
NYI Hockey Now spoke to Bo Horvat on Friday morning and asked him if Barzal put more pressure on him.
“Everyone has to go about it in a different way,” said Horvat. “For myself obviously I need to take my game to another level and try to fill that gap and we’re going to need everyone to step up if we’re to make that final push.”
How he feels about being with the Islanders: “The more I get out on the rink every day, the more comfortable I feel. I’m sure it won’t feel fully settled until we find a home and the family settles in. So far it’s been great for the most part.”
If the Islanders are to remain at the top of the wildcard, or at least find a way to make it through the postseason, Horvat needs to be one of the top leaders on both sides of the puck, which he has through 10 games so far.
1-on-1 with Bo Horvat: “It’s getting more and more comfortable”
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