Islanders’ Bo Horvat on playoff drought: ‘Been way too long’

The last time Bo Horvat played a postseason game in front of a home crowd was April 23, 2015.

That night, the Canucks extended their season thanks to a third-period goal from Daniel Sedin, pushing a first-round series against the Flames to Game 6, but it would end there.

Horvat, a 19-year-old rookie at the time, averaged 12:40 time on ice for the series.

Horvat was in the middle of Vancouver’s bubble run to the second round in 2020, but the motivation is still very much intact to play the most meaningful hockey games on the calendar in front of fans.

“It’s been way too long,” Horvat told The Post on Saturday morning ahead of a 5-1 Islanders defeat to the Capitals. “So it’s about time I get back there.”

The Isles currently occupy the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, precariously so.

Bo Horvat takes a shot against the Capitals on March 11 at UBS Arena.
Bo Horvat takes a shot against the Capitals on March 11 at UBS Arena.
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Bo Horvat
Bo Horvat is eager to break his personal playoff drought.
Getty Images

The Panthers sit three points behind them with a game in hand, the Penguins are equal on points but ahead in the standings with three games in hand.

It is possible, and maybe even the most likely outcome, that the Islanders will get to show off UBS Arena for the first time in the postseason four weeks from now.

But the path to sealing a bid will not be at all easy.

Netting at least two wins on a swing through Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Jose this week is a must, and then the Islanders must land the plane during a final three weeks filled with divisional opponents.

“Every day,” Horvat said, asked how often he thinks about getting in front of a crowd for playoff games. “You want to get in the playoffs. Best time of the year to play. We’re gonna keep fighting, hopefully we can get there.”

Horvat is used to the passions of a success-starved fan base from his years in British Columbia. Even so, Long Island has made an impression on him.

“Especially this fan base, they want us to win,” he said. “And that’s all you can ask from the fan base. Win as many games for them and play hard for them every single night.”

If the Islanders sweep their West Coast trip, Lou Lamoriello will become just the second general manager all time to reach 1,400 career victories. He currently has 1,397, behind only Nashville’s David Poile on the all-time list.

The Kings beat the Islanders 3-2 in the first game between the teams on Feb. 24 at UBS Arena. The Isles have not won at the building formerly known as Staples Center since Oct. 18, 2018.