SUN Hockey Pool

Horcoff starting to click

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:39 AM ET

COLUMBUS Eight points in eight games?

Plus-five in that span?

Shawn Horcoff will be the first to tell you his recent hot spell is too little, too late. But if hes going to turn his game around for next season, he might as well start now.

I want to finish strong, said Horcoff, who brings a modest three-game point-scoring streak into tonights game in Columbus.

Its not even about points; Im not going to save the season that way. I just want to play good hockey. I feel like Ive done that the last little while.

With 26 points and minus- 28 rating to show for a $7 million US salary, Horcoffs season couldnt be saved statistically even if Alex Ovechkin stepped in to help.

But this is at least progress. And when you consider that in the nine games before his recent run Horcoff had zero points and was minus-eight, its all come on rather suddenly.

I felt really good the last little bit, said the veteran centre, whos long over the shoulder trouble that was bothering him earlier.

The (Olympic) break helped me get some rest and get energized. I want to play some good hockey going into the off-season. You dont want to have a bad taste in your mouth when youre going to have a long summer.

Itll be longer than most for Horcoff. With a contract like his (a $5.5 million cap hit until 2015), hes going to be here for the long haul, so he has to get back to being the guy who made the All-Star team in 2007-08.

Its just a matter of playing the last 20 games like I know I can, he said. Ive played the last two or three weeks comfortable. You want to be able to control a game.

I know what I can do out there when Im feeling good and playing at the top of my game. I know I can be really successful. Its just a matter of getting back to that level.

Im only 31 years old, I feel like Im just going to start reaching my peak.

I have lots of healthy, good years left.

He knows that no matter what he does for the rest of this season isnt going to matter much, but it might help him get a running start on next year, when it will.

It is frustrating, but its at the point now where I know Im not going to save (this year), he said.

I just want to get back to where Im accustomed to being the last four or five seasons.

robert.tychkowski@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos