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Nathan Horton done for playoffs with severe concussion

06.07.11 at 10:25 am ET
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The Bruins announced Tuesday morning that first-line right wing Nathan Horton is out for the remainder of the Stanley Cup finals due to a severe concussion. Horton left Monday’s 8-1 Bruins’ Game 3 win in the first period on a stretcher after taking a blindside hit to the head from Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome.

Horton had 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 21 postseason games prior to the hit, though he did not have a point in the Stanley Cup finals. He totaled 26 goals and 27 assists for 53 points in the regular season.

With Horton out, the Bruins will likely turn to Michael Ryder on the first line, with Tyler Seguin re-entering the lineup on the team’s third line with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Aaron Rome, Nathan Horton, Stanley Cup Finals

Steve Levy: ‘Concern’ in Vancouver locker room

06.07.11 at 10:21 am ET
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ESPN personality Steve Levy joined the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday morning after covering Monday night’€™s Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals for the cable sports network, and the Sportscenter anchor had lots of praise for the goings on at the TD Garden.

‘€œThat was unbelievable,’€ Levy said. ‘€œThe first two games were also thrilling, but last night had everything. The energy in the building was also terrific. We were also in town for Game 7 of the conference final against Tampa and we thought that was unbelievable. Last night topped that. It was really a special all-around night, except for the hit.’€

However, it was mostly a special all-around night for the Bruins and their fans. After the crushing 8-1 loss to their Eastern Conference foes, the Canucks looked certainly uneasy, according to Levy.

‘€œI think there’€™s some concern, there’€™s no question,’€ he said. ‘€œI think immediately afterwards there was concern. I think the first two games you saw one-goal games that really could have gone either way, but Vancouver was a whole lot more confident going into last night than they were going into it than coming out of it, no question.’€ Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Aaron Rome, Alexandre Burrows, Nathan Horton, Steve Levy

Andy Brickley on D&C: Playoffs ‘time to make strong statements’ about hits to head

06.07.11 at 9:25 am ET
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NESN Bruins analyst Andy Brickley called in to the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday morning to talk about the Bruins big 8-1 win over the Canucks in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals the night before. The former Boston forward said he enjoyed what he saw Monday night.

“Thoroughly,” he said. “Absolutely loved just about everything about it except for the [Nathan Horton] hit and the result and maybe a little bit of stooping to the Canucks’ level when they started getting into the taunting with the fingers. Other than those two issues, I really enjoyed the game.”

The biggest reason why Brickley thought that the Bruins were able to take Game 3 was that that they were able to control their emotions and turn that energy into putting pucks in the back of the net, especially following the late losses earlier in the series as well as the early loss of Horton on a hit by Aaron Rome in Game 3.

“I liked the Bruins emotional level coming into the game because that was actually my biggest concern coming off the two dramatic losses in the fashion that they lost in Vancouver. Not a lot of turn-around time to recover emotionally from that overtime loss in Game 2. When you couple that with the late loss in regulation of Game 1, I had some concerns in that area. I think the coaching staff did a real good job, the players themselves, the leadership in the room, got themselves ready to play. Not a great first period but they were ready to play. They were going to bring their skating game and then when one of their top players and a guy that really lean on to make big plays and score big goals goes down early enough in the game, it just took the emotional zeale to another level. But they were able to keep enough disicipline until that game got out of hand.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Aaron Rome, Andy Brickley, Claude Julien, Nathan Horton

Poll: How should NHL punish Canucks’ Aaron Rome?

06.07.11 at 8:15 am ET
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What's the appropriate punishment for Aaron Rome after his hit on Nathan Horton Monday night?

  • The remainder of the finals (52%, 294 Votes)
  • More than five games, continuing into next season (26%, 145 Votes)
  • Two games (11%, 60 Votes)
  • Three games (5%, 26 Votes)
  • One game (4%, 22 Votes)
  • No further punishment (3%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 562

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Read More: Aaron Rome, Nathan Horton,

Bruins, Canucks disagree over legality of Aaron Rome’s hit on Nathan Horton

06.07.11 at 2:20 am ET
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Almost as big a story as the game itself is Aaron Rome‘s first-period hit on Nathan Horton. After Horton dished a pass off to Milan Lucic, Rome stepped up and landed a late hit to the head that left Horton lying motionless on the ice for several minutes before being carried off on a stretcher.

After the game, players and coaches on both sides agreed that the primary concern was for Horton’s well-being. What they didn’t agree on, however, was how dirty or clean the hit actually was.

“I think what I would  call it is it was a blindside hit that we’ve talked about taking out of the game,” Claude Julien said. “[Horton] made the pass. It was late. [Rome] came from the blindside. Whether it’s through the motion of the hit, it appeared he left his feet a little bit.”

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault disagreed with the assessment that it was the kind of hit the NHL is trying to get rid of.

“That hit was a head-on hit,” Vigneault said. “[Horton] was looking at his pass. It was a little bit late, but I don’t think that’s the type of hit that the league’s trying to take out.”

On replay, it appears that Horton was following the play more than anything — something any player would do while entering the zone on an offensive rush. Vigneault also conveniently ignored the fact that it was a hit to the head, regardless of what Horton was looking at. He wasn’t the only one in the Vancouver dressing room to defend the hit, though.

“I thought it was a very clean hit,” center Manny Malhotra said. “The timing was maybe a fraction off, but all in all, you see those hits on a daily basis.”

Malhotra’s assessment seems even more misguided than his coach’s. If it was “very clean,” Rome wouldn’t have been ejected from the game and he wouldn’t have a disciplinary hearing with the NHL Tuesday morning. And Malhotra must be playing in a different league than everyone else if he sees hits like that every day.

No one on the Bruins called Rome a dirty player, but they did say it was a bad hit.

“I played with him and from what I know of him, he is an honest player,” Shawn Thornton said. “But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it was a lateral hit to the head, and that’s what that rule was set into place for as far as I’m concerned.

“Aaron Rome is a good person. I played with him. We played together in Portland [Maine] and Anaheim. I’m not saying he’s a bad person. I’m just saying those are the hits – as players – we have to take out of the game.”

Whether or not NHL disciplinarian Mike Murphy decides to take Rome out of Game 4 and perhaps beyond remains to be seen. The Bruins didn’t directly say they think Rome should be suspended, but they certainly hinted at it by saying it’s the type of hit the league is trying to eliminate.

“I’ll say what I always say: let the league take care of it,” Julien said. “We’re trying to clean that out. Let’s see where they go with that.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Aaron Rome, Manny Malhotra, Nathan Horton

Brad Marchand said the Bruins were ‘really looking to send a message’

06.07.11 at 12:50 am ET
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In one of the more physical, tense and nasty Stanley Cup final games in recent memory, the Bruins hammered the Canucks, 8-1, Monday night in Game 3 and now trail Vancouver, 2 games-to-1.

The physical play began with a shot to the head of Nathan Horton by Aaron Rome just over five minutes into the contest. Horton left on a stretcher after his neck was immobilized. He reported having feeling in all extremities and was taken to Massachusetts General for observation. The nastiness reached a new level in the third when Shawn Thornton was ejected via a 10-minute misconduct while three more Bruins followed. Rome was ejected along with three other Canucks in the third, as the Bruins poured it on with four goals in the second and four in the third.

“We had a good game but we were really looking to send a message and we wanted to get back in the series,” Brad Marchand said. “They had a pretty commanding lead there. We knew it was going to be a big game tonight and we were just hoping to get back in the series.

“Any playoff series it’s a battle out there. We’re fighting for something we wanted our whole lives. It’s going to be a battle every game. It’s going to look like that. I think it’s just going to get chippier as series goes on.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Aaron Rome, Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand

Bruins explode past Canucks in Game 3 win

06.06.11 at 11:02 pm ET
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The Stanley Cup finals finally saw one team win a game convincingly, and the Bruins were on the right side of it as they crushed the Canucks, 8-1, in Game 3 Monday night at the TD Garden. Boston now trails Vancouver, 2-1, in the best-of-seven series.

The Bruins got goals from Andrew Ference, Mark Recchi (two), Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Daniel Paille, Chris Kelly and Michael Ryder, with the first four coming in the second period and the B’s beating Roberto Luongo four more times in the third. Luongo remained in the game the whole way despite allowing a career-high eight goals.

Both Marchand and Paille scored shorthanded goals, while Recchi’s first of the night was his second power-play tally in as many games, Krejci now leads the NHL in postseason goals with 11. Jannik Hansen scored the Canucks’ only goal, ending a Tim Thomas shutout bid with 6:07 left in regulation.

While it was a big win for the Bruins, the lasting image of the game will be a motionless Nathan Horton lying on the ice at the blueline after taking a blindside hit to the head from Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome. Horton had dished the puck to Milan Lucic seconds earlier and was defenseless when Rome dropped him, causing the back of Horton’s head to hit the ice first. The first-line winger left the game in a stretcher and was transported to Mass General Hospital. The Bruins later issued a statement saying he was able to move his extremities.

Thomas turned in a solid showing, making a number of Canucks’ nights frustrating on 40 saves. Thomas made two huge saves on Mason Raymond in the first period and stopped Chris Higgins on a breakaway in the third period. For all the whining about him not staying in the blue paint, Thomas provided some irony in the third period by leveling Henrik Sedin in the crease.

The teams will play Game 4 at the Garden Wednesday before traveling to Vancouver for Friday’s Game 5.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– Marchand has shown this postseason that he can go a few games without scoring, but the slumps always end before they hurt the Bruins too badly. This marks the third time in these playoffs that the rookie has gone four games without a goal and scoring the fifth game. His shorthanded goal in the second was a beauty.

– Ference did plenty to bounce back from a costly showing in Game 2. In addition to his goal to put the B’s on the board in the first period, No. 21 registered six hits through the first two periods on Monday. No better way to make people forget a couple of bad moves with the puck Saturday than by turning in a performance like the one Ference gave Monday.

– Before the game, it was easy for some to question Claude Julien‘s decision to sit Tyler Seguin in favor of Shawn Thornton. Thornton made his coach look smart, playing with an edge while not crossing the line. Thornton was flying around the ice and, unsurprisingly, hitting everything that moved. He landed a hit on his first shift of the game that got the crowd on its feet. Then in the second, he blew by Jeff Tambellini on a rush into the zone and drew a hooking call that led to Recchi’s power-play goal.

– We pointed it out when Johnny Boychuk was on the ice for eight straight goals against, so it’s only fair to do the same when it comes to Ryan Kesler knocking off half that in just one period. Kesler was on the ice for all four of the Bruins’ second-period goals, and he tipped Recchi’s pass to Rich Peverley through the five-hole of Luongo before the puck made its way to Peverley. Kesler punched Dennis Seidenberg in the third period when the B’s defenseman was down.

– Recchi scored a power-play goal for the second straight game, further silencing critics who wanted him off the man advantage. Recchi held the puck in the lower right circle before centering a pass for Peverley that deflected off Kesler’s stick and through Luongo’s five-hole. Even if Kesler hadn’t tipped it in, the pass was going straight to Peverley’s blade. It was Recchi’s first two-goal game since Nov. 24 against the Panthers.

– It isn’t really a secret that Luongo can be beaten high to the glove side, but the Bruins hadn’t been able to test him there much in Games 1 and 2. They did in Game 3, though. Ference’s goal knuckled right by Luongo’s glove as the netminder had trouble reading it. Later in the second, Krejci beat Luongo high-glove, too, when he buried the rebound of a Michael Ryder shot. Marchand also beat Luongo high, but the goalie was already down on that one thanks to Marchand’s patience.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– If Rome wanted to remind people exactly what Rule 48 is, he should have just recited it in pre-game media availability. Horton is the last player who would be on the deserving end of such a dirty hit, as the 26-year-old winger plays a tough style without crossing the line. If Rome isn’t suspended for the remainder of the series, the NHL will be opening its doors for criticism even further.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Stanley Cup Finals,

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