Sports Outside the Beltway

FL Panther Nathan Horton to miss 2-4 weeks

This injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for a team trying to make the playoffs for the first time in 9 years.

With just 16 games left in the regular season, including a two-game road trip starting today against teams also vying for playoffs spots, the last thing the Panthers needed was a flurry of injuries.

However, that’s what the Panthers face entering tonight’s game at Pittsburgh. Forward Nathan Horton is expected to miss the next two to four weeks with a severed tendon in his left ring finger and defenseman Bryan McCabe is out for a week with a fractured orbital bone in his right eye and a broken nose.

“That’s a huge loss,” David Booth said. “[Horton's] probably one of the most gifted players in the NHL.”

Late in the third period of the Panthers’ 5-3 victory over St. Louis on Saturday, a skate blade sliced into Horton’s glove and cut his finger. He had surgery and did not travel with the team. McCabe took a puck to the face in the first period against the Blues. He also had surgery and did not make the trip.

Florida plans to fill Horton’s hole with the useless Bret McLean. 4 goals and 13 points for the entire 2008-09 season. Jacques Martin should bring up Shawn Matthias from the AHL but GM Jacques Martin is making the dumb move so often seen in professional sports. Rather than admit a high priced player is a mistake, they keep giving them more opportunities to fail even if it will prove detrimental to the team the GM is supposed to be running.

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