Nathan Horton shut down by Bruins, ending any needless speculation after concussion

One of the questions facing the Boston Bruins in their Stanley Cup title defense:

Who plays the hero offensively? Who scores the big, overtime game-winner in a tightly played game to shift momentum, stave off elimination or win a series?

Last postseason, that guy was Nathan Horton. He won't be that guy this postseason.

The Bruins, smartly, announced on Wednesday that Horton will miss the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs due to his concussion sustained last January:

Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that forward Nathan Horton will miss the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs due to a concussion. The injury occurred on January 22, 2012 in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers and he has not played in a game since (36 games).

The 26-year-old Horton played in a career low 46 games this season and registered 17-35=32 totals and 54 penalty minutes. During last year's Stanley Cup Playoff run, he tallied three game-winning goals, including the winners in the Game 7 victories over Montreal on April 27, 2011 and Tampa Bay on May 27, 2011. He finished the postseason appearing in 21 of the team's 25 playoff games with eight goals, nine assists and 35 penalty minutes. He missed the final four games of the Stanley Cup Final due to a severe concussion sustained in Game 3.

Again, this is the right call: No need to have speculation or illogical hopes pinned on a player that needs to work back from this significant injury and continue his career next season. Now, the pressure's off Horton.

It'll be on Rich Peverley, however, as he skates with David Krejci and Milan Lucic on the Bruins' top line; heck, it'll be on all the Bruins scorers as they seek to replace a clutch performer this postseason.