Canucks cen­tre Hor­vat ex­celling in third sea­son

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY JOSHUA CLIP­PER­TON THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

More than half­way through his third NHL sea­son, Bo Hor­vat has a pretty good idea of what’s wait­ing for him after each game.

The Van­cou­ver Canucks cen­tre has a few min­utes to de­com­press be­fore meet­ing with the me­dia to dis­sect what just took place, be it good or bad. Then there’s pos­si­bly a work­out or a meal, but at some point dur­ing the fa­mil­iar rou­tine his cell­phone will buzz with a text mes­sage.

His fa­ther Tim has watched the game — three times zones away when the Canucks are at home — in Rod­ney, Ont., and is of­fer­ing a frank as­sess­ment.

“He waits up and gives me his opin­ion,” Hor­vat said of his dad’s mes­sages, be­fore adding with a smile: “Some­times you don’t like it. Some­times you choose not to re­spond to it.

“But for the most part it’s pos­i­tive.”

Tim Hor­vat likely hasn’t been too dis­ap­pointed this sea­son with the play of his 21-year-old son, who leads the Canucks in scor­ing with 15 goals and 18 as­sists through 52 games.

Bo Hor­vat, who started the cam­paign as a sur­pris­ing mem­ber of the fourth line, is now a lynch­pin for Van­cou­ver. Many viewed Hor­vat as a checker with some of­fen­sive up­side when he was se­lected ninth over­all at the 2013 NHL draft — a ser­vice­able player, but not one ex­pected to put up sig­nif­i­cant points or drive the play. Hor­vat had other ideas. “I’m not sat­is­fied with be­ing a third-line cen­tre, nor should any­body,” he said. “Ev­ery­body should push to be bet­ter, ev­ery­body should push to want more.

“That’s the big­gest thing for me, to prove to my­self and prove to ev­ery­body else I could do it.”

Canucks head coach Wil­lie Des­jardins in­sists he didn’t his put his ex­pec­ta­tions for Hor­vat in a box, but there were times ear­lier this year when he was only see­ing around 15 min­utes of ac­tion a night.

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