Do you feel that itch? It’s that uncomfortable, nagging itch that forces you to finally adress. You don’t want to. No, no, that’s the last thing you want to do. But it’s something that, ignored, has started to surface. What’s that itch? Uh…ummm…it’s nahajjsj Jsisjwns. Huh? It’s Nathan Horton, okay? This nagging, uncomfortable problem: it’s Nathan Horton.
Horton, shortly after gleefully signing with the Columbus Blue Jackets in free agency, had surgery to repair his shoulder. Jackets fans waited, (patiently?) while Nathan recovered, excited for the day he would make his debut and his impact. It’s been 2 and a half months since he’s made his debut. We’re just waiting for the “impact” part.
Has he shown promise? Sure. Has he scored some goals? Yep. But has he played Nathan Horton hockey? No. He signed with Columbus because he saw the brick by brick approach and wanted to be in the foundation. The front office payed him because they believe he could lead this team to the playoffs and, more importantly, beyond. If (I mean when!) Columbus makes the playoffs, I worry about Horton’s ability to actually do that.
As a fan and writer, jumping to hysteria is something that, unchecked, leads to non-believability and absurdness. That’s why I’m not doing that in this situation. I’m opening this discussion, not closing it. Columbus fans have looking at each other, waiting on the other person to say what they are feeling. I’ll be that scape-goat: Nathan Horton, you’re not cutting it.
I pride myself on holding this organization to a higher standard than we usually have. Because expectations comes with the notion of success. But Nathan Horton hasn’t experience the notion of success, he’s been apart of the real thing. He’s been to the Stanley Cup championship.
We need to see that Nathan Horton now. Come playoff time, things only get harder. If Horton doesn’t start producing at Horton-like levels now, the chances of him doing it then can only decrease. I’m not panicking. Really. Promise. I’m only saying…(loudly)…