In that time, the Islanders have played to a 5-3-2 record and went from being outside the playoff picture to holding down the top wild-card spot.
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 towards the top of the NHL in goals, sitting with 31 through 49 games, with 23 assists. He was operating at a pace of 0.63 goals per game, shooting at a 21.7 percent clip.
In 10 games with New York, Horvat has four goals, one disallowed, on 25 shots, shooting at a 16 percent clip, with 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 per NaturalStatrick.com, when the two were on the ice, the Islanders outscored their opponents 4-2, outshooting them 51-30, out-chancing them 52-39.
Horvat had scored three goals with an assist over that span.
Since Barzal went down with a lower-body injury on Feb. 18, Horvat has a goal and two assists in three games, playing alongside a mix of linemates as Lambert tries to find the right combinations in his star’s absence.
Horvat has played on five different line combinations in 10 games per MoneyPuck.com:
As for eating minutes, Horvat has played over 20 minutes in six of the 10 games, averaging 21:12 minutes per game with New York, a tad more than the 20:49 minutes he averaged in Vancouver.
The biggest offensive standout on Horvat is that he is not afraid to shoot the puck from any angle. He has 2.3 shots per game in blue and orange, and, as we saw with his first few goals, he can get his shot off rather quickly.
But then we also saw against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday that when he sees a lane from any angle, he takes advantage as he tied the game before Anders Lee gave the Islanders the lead and a critical two points in a third-period comeback win.
Without Barzal, his prime setup man, Horvat has had the puck on his stick a bit more but has just five shots on goal through four games with two assists and that goal. His two assists were critical, one on the secondary on Lee’s goal while the other a primary assist on Simon Holmstrom’s game-winner against the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday.
Horvat’s 200-Foot Game
There was a lot of chatter following the Horvat trade about his lack of a 200-foot game. However, despite the concerns, Horvat has been more impressive defensively than expected.
Coming from a team that played more of a Dough Weight-esque style of hockey, Horvat quickly understood the structure and systems Lambert had in place.
When Barzal was in the lineup, Horvat’s defensive-zone play was critical, as he’d be below the face-off dots, winning puck battles and dishing the puck up to Barzal for much easier transitions.
With Barzal out, Horvat is still doing that, just not at the same rate. He’s had to lead the rush, as he’s being fed pucks out of the zone at a higher rate.
And with Jean-Gabriel Pageau out of the lineup, Horvat has done his best impression, playing on the power play, the penalty kill as well as a face-off machine, winning 53.3 percent of his draws (won 56 percent up North).
With New York, he’s won 58.8 percent of his offensive zone draws, 44.82 percent of his neutral zone draws, and 53.06 percent of his defensive zone draws.
Horvat’s Impact on Power Play
When Horvat joined the Islanders, their power play sat at just 15.5 percent, towards the bottom of the NHL. A power-play specialist with Vancouver, with 11 power-play goals in 49 games, the Islanders desperately needed him to help change the tide with the man advantage.
In 10 games, the Islanders’ power play is operating at a 24.14 percent clip, seven for 29, with goals in six of the 10 games.
Horvat has been on the ice for all six, with a goal and an assist.
The 27-year-old has won 65.1 percent of his power play draws and has filled the bumper position role on the top unit.
The Islanders’ power play now sits at 17 percent, which isn’t great but a tad higher than when Horvat arrived.
NYI Hockey Now spoke with Bo Horvat on Friday morning and asked him if there was more pressure on him with Barzal out.
“Everybody’s gotta step up in different ways,” Horvat said. “For myself, I think, obviously, I gotta bring my game to another level, trying to fill that void and we’re gonna need everybody to step up if we’re going to be making that final push.”
As for how he’s feeling with the Islanders: “The more and more I come to the rink every day, the more comfortable I get. I’m sure it’s not going to feel completely settled until we find a house and family gets settled in. For the most part, it’s been great so far.”
If the Islanders are going to stay in the top wild-card spot, or at the very least find a way to make the postseason, Horvat is going to have to be one of the top leaders on both sides of the puck, which he has been thus far through 10 games.