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Rewording of Rule 48 is official

06.21.11 at 5:44 pm ET
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The NHL Board of Governors has approved changes to two rules, and as such both boarding and Rule 48 (illegal check to the head) have been reworded. The more hot-button of the two is Rule 48, as each year it seems hits to the head leave vulnerable players concussed and teammates stressing that such hits need to be removed from the game.

Under the new wording of Rule 48, the terms “lateral” and “blindside” can no longer be found. For a rule that’s always been up for interpretation to a fault, the emphasis on simply not targeting the head is a little less clouded.

Here’s the new wording:

48.1 Illegal Check To The Head ‘€“ A hit resulting in contact with an opponent’s head where the head is targeted and the principal point of contact is not permitted. However, in determining whether such a hit should have been permitted, the circumstances of the hit, including whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or simultaneously with the hit or the head contact on an otherwise legal body check was unavoidable, can be considered.

48.2 Minor Penalty ‘€“ For violation of this rule, a minor penalty shall be assessed.

48.3 Major Penalty ‘€“ There is no provision for a major penalty for this rule.

48.4 Game Misconduct ‘€“ There is no provision for a game misconduct for this rule.

48.5 Match Penalty ‘€“ The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a match penalty if, in his judgment, the player attempted to or deliberately injured his opponent with an illegal check to the head.

If deemed appropriate, supplementary discipline can be applied by the Commissioner at his discretion.

——-

Here’s part of the previous wording, as was applied to Brad Marchand‘s hit on R.J. Umberger when the B’s rookie was suspended:

48.1 Illegal Check to the Head ‘€“ A lateral or blind side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact is not permitted.

Read More: Rule 48,

Andrew Ference on D&C: Bringing Stanley Cup back to North End one more time

06.21.11 at 9:31 am ET
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Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference joined the Dennis & Callahan show to talk about what his life has been like after winning the Stanley Cup championship last Wednesday. The veteran D-man told the guys that unfortunately the Cup in all its glory is no longer in Boston but is rather on its way to Las Vegas to be showcased at the NHL Awards Ceremony. Ference also deemed rookie forward Brad Marchand the “runaway winner” for the team’s resulting celebrations after beating the Canucks in seven games to take home the most prized trophy of the four major sports. (To hear the entire interview, visit the D&C audio on demand page.)

The blue-liner said as much fun as Marchand and some of the other guys have been having, the most difficult part of the process for him is perhaps just trying to go down the block.

“It’s taken me a lot longer to do a few chores, that’s for sure,” Ference said. “It’s great. I wouldn’t want to be in a hurry to get anything done, but the people are pumped. We know a lot of people so most of the time it’s people we already met and already know and just pass on a congratulations and tell stories where they watched or whatever it was. It was great. It’s been that way for a number of years now, living that way. [Zdeno Chara‘s] been riding his bike and a lot of teammates walk over [to the TD Garden] anyways so I don’t think you’re going to see things change too much unless we start showing up late to practice because we get stopped for conversation.”

Ference also said during his interview that he had an inkling that the B’s would win the Cup even before the three-month grind of the Stanley Cup playoffs even began.

“Even before the playoffs started, I had a really, really good feeling. I was almost scared to have that kind of feeling. A few of us teammates talked about it that we’ve had good years and good teams in the past where we thought we had a chance. But in the process of talking about it, we knew this would be more than just a chance. We knew that there’s something different about the team and that it was a legitimate shot. When it really sunk in was after the first round because the first round is just so tough, doesn’t matter what year it is. I think it’s the toughest round of the playoffs. To get by the way we did against Montreal, that series was so close and our team got so much better from the beginning to the end of it. I think after that first round I had a really, really great feeling.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Bruins year in review: Save of the year

06.21.11 at 2:11 am ET
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Each day this week, WEEI.com will be taking a look back at the Bruins’€™ historic 2010-11 Stanley Cup Championship season. We started it off by looking at the goal of the year and fight of the year. Up today is save of the year, and it should be fresh enough in people’s minds to remember.

SAVE OF THE YEAR

Tim Thomas on Steve Downie, Game 5 vs. Tampa Bay

“I was thinking, ‘Thank God he saved it.’ We were up by one goal in Game 5, so that was possibly the turning point in the series. They could have scored, won, gained momentum and had a chance to go back home and win. I was happy, but there’s been a lot of moments like that when there’s just a sigh of relief that ‘there he goes again.’ As amazing as his saves are, I don’t think anybody in here is amazed that he makes them, because he’s so good.”

Gregory Campbell

A shoo-in for the Vezina, Tim Thomas had enough candidates for this before Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals vs. the Lightning. Then he turned in what may be remembered as one of the greatest stick saves of all time when the stakes were just about as high as they could be.

With the series tied at two games apiece and the Bruins holding onto a 2-1 lead in the third period, Eric Brewer took a slapshot from the point that went wide of Thomas’ net. With Thomas at the top of the crease, it would seem that Steve Downie would be a fortunate man to have the puck bounce off the endboards and right to him next to the net. Downie went to put the put in the net to tie the game, but Thomas came to the rescue, knocking the puck down in mid-air with his stick despite hitting the post with his blade. No player had a better view of the play than Gregory Campbell, so his amazement with Thomas’ save should not be taken lightly.

The save yielded an insane reaction from the Garden crowd, and the Lightning would not get another opportunity like that for the rest of the game. Tampa would eventually pull Mike Smith for an extra attacker, and Rich Peverley would put the game away with an empty netter.

This was just one of the many outstanding saves Thomas made in a postseason in which he was the easy Conn Smythe winner. While his regular season was record-setting, his postseason was even better. There may be no better illustration of how Thomas stepped up than that save.

HONORABLE MENTION: Tim Thomas on Brian Gionta (Game 5 of quarterfinals), Tim Thomas on Francois Beauchemin (Dec. 4), Tuukka Rask on Kyle Brodziak (Jan. 6)

Read More: Brian Gionta, Bruins Year in Review, Steve Downie, Tim Thomas

Shawn Thornton on The Big Show: Bruins used Canucks’ comments as motivation

06.20.11 at 6:28 pm ET
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Bruins forward and two-time Stanley Cup winner Shawn Thornton joined The Big Show Monday to review the Stanley Cup finals and the entire Stanley Cup playoffs. To hear the interview, check out The Big Show audio on demand page.

Following Game 7, rookie forward Brad Marchand said that he hated the Canucks given how “cocky” they were throughout the series. Thornton wouldn’t use Marchand’s words, but he did share the same feelings.

‘€œNo, I mean I don’€™t want to talk bad about them and be a sore winner, but I will say some of the comments that were made and kind of the way everyone had us dialed in,’€ he said. ‘€œThey were planning the parade on Monday and they hadn’€™t even won the game yet. Stuff like that motivates the other team. We did a good job of toeing the line and not letting anything get out into the open. Even though we were a confident bunch as a group we weren’€™t out there talking about it as much.’€

Even though Thornton’€™s line, the fourth line did not score much during the playoff run, Thornton knew what their role was and how it changed from series to series.

‘€œOur line, when we played over a certain amount we did a good job getting the puck deep, and creating energy,’€ he said. ‘€œThat’€™s our role. In different series’€™ our line was used in different ways. The Montreal series not as much, they are run and gun, the Philadelphia series we were used a little more and Tampa not as much again because they are built a little different, but that Vancouver series the first couple games they came out and were really physical, so our line did the same thing and we wanted to push that and be physical.’€

Thornton did not play in the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals, but was inserted into the lineup for Game 3.

‘€œRight before warm up I found out,’€ Thornton said. ‘€œThat was tough, I’€™m not going to lie. I thought he [Claude Julien] was going to make the change, but you are never 100 percent. I was ecstatic. I prepared like I was playing, but it’€™s different when you’€™re not sure. You’€™d rather know, but I guess it was a last minute decision and it worked out just fine.’€

After going down dropping the first two games in Vancouver the Bruins knew that they weren’€™t out of it.

‘€œWe knew we were in them, we were a goal away in each game,’€ Thornton said. ‘€œWe knew if we got back playing the way we needed to play we could win. We did a good job all year of not letting the highs get too high and the lows too low, and we did a really good job after that game of just focusing on the next game and the game after that. That was our main focus going into those games.’€ Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brad Marchand, Claude Julien, Shawn Thornton, Tim Thomas

Nathan Horton hopes offseason work won’t change much with concussion

06.20.11 at 4:06 pm ET
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Though Nathan Horton played the postseason with a separated shoulder before being knocked out of the Stanley Cup finals with a severe concussion, the 26-year-old Bruins’ right wing can’t complain. Not that he ever could, of course.

The happy-go-lucky winger will be able to return home to Ontario this offseason, take some time off, and hopefully prepare for next season as he normally would. The effects of the concussion — his first since he fell off the monkey bars as a child — shouldn’t put a damper on his offseason the way they kept him from competing in Games 4 through 7 of the finals.

“The last couple of the games of the playoffs I had a little bit of a headache, but the last few days have been nothing,” Horton said at the team’s breakup day. “I’m symptom-free, I feel great. Nothing’s really bothering me.”

Horton said that the headaches came on worse the more he thought about wanting to be on the ice, and that he considers himself fortunate that the blindside hit he took from Aaron Rome didn’t yield a worse result.

“For how it looked, you would think it was a lot worse. I did get headaches, and that’s about it.”

It was a scary scene when the B’s postseason hero went down in the first period of Game 3, as the hit left him down on the ice, expressionless with one hand raised while the rest of him remained still. Horton said he doesn’t know why his hand was up, and that he does not remember anything before his ambulance trip to the hospital.

“If my arm was up,” he said Sunday, “I don’t remember doing it.”

Horton, who was acquired from Florida nearly a year ago, had right goals and nine assists for 17 points in his first taste of the playoffs, including three game-winning goals (two of which clinched series in Game 7 wins over the Canadiens and Lightning).

When the time comes for Horton to begin working out, he said he will be in contact with the Bruins to make sure both sides are on the same page as it relates to his recovery from his concussion.

“I’m sure I’ll be talking to them about stuff and just going from there,” he said. “I haven’t done anything stressful or stuff like that, so I’ll take a couple more weeks off and I should be fine, but I’ll definitely be talking to them for sure.”

Much as been said of Horton’s cheery attitude at all times, which one could view as ironic given that he had a reputation of being indifferent while playing with the Panthers. Horton had a feeling when he came to in the ambulance that his postseason was done, and asked whether that was the first time during his debut season in Boston that he wasn’t smiling, Horton’s answer was predictable.

“Nah,” Horton said. “I was still smiling.”

Andrew Ference, Bruins make their Cup run last with tattoos

06.20.11 at 2:47 pm ET
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Andrew Ference is far and away the most heavily-tattooed man on the Bruins. While the likes of Nathan Horton and Tyler Seguin sport notable ink as well, Ference is essentially the Travis Barker of the team’s dressing room.

That’s why it’s no surprise that he set up a tattoo room for the Stanley Cup champions on their final day at the Garden. Ference, who travels to Calgary every offseason to get his ink done at the Smilin’ Buddha parlor, said Sunday that the plan to celebrate a Cup championship with tattoos was a long time in the making. Ference’s tattoo artist told him back in 2007 that if the Bruins ever won the Cup, he’d be there.

“I usually have to back there to get tattoos finished or done during the summer, and he told me years ago when I first got traded to Boston, he said that he loves Boston and has always wanted to come here,” Ference said. “He told me right then, ‘If you guys ever win, I’ll come down and tat all you guys up.’ I’ve seen him every year since, and he tells me every year, so I sent him a quick email after we won, and he hopped on a plain, and here he is.”

Ference said that “probably over half” of his teammates would be getting tattoos to commemorate the Cup run.

“Different things,” Ference said. “Some guys are just getting some writing, some guys are getting the ‘B’ or the Cup and ‘B’ combo or something like that. I think [Mark Recchi] is getting all of his done from past Stanley Cups.”

Ference, whose arms are nearly covered in tattoos, said he is “getting the spoked ‘B’ for sure,” while other teammates seemed uncertain as to what they’d be getting.

Read More: Andrew Ference, Mark Recchi, Nathan Horton, Tyler Seguin

Bruins year in review: Fight of the year

06.20.11 at 1:48 am ET
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Each day this week, WEEI.com will be taking a look back at the Bruins’€™ historic 2010-11 Stanley Cup Championship season. We started it off by looking at the goal of the year, and up next is fight of the year.

FIGHT OF THE YEAR

Shawn Thornton vs. Eric Boulton, Dec. 23 vs. Atlanta

“I think that’€™s what has come up through the whole season is the resiliency of our hockey club. That [game] was the start of it and there were a lot of other examples other than that, but that was the way our team was.”

Claude Julien

When the Bruins were shut out at home on Dec. 20 by the Ducks, it seemed they had hit rock bottom. The B’s had won just one of their last five games, and it was only natural to wonder whether Claude Julien was done as coach of the team. The Bruins had two days between the loss and their next game, their last before the holiday break, and they spent both days at Ristuccia Arena trying to reignite the fire that had seemed to have gone out.

Marc Savard and Patrice Bergeron got into during the first practice, as did Shawn Thornton and Johnny Boychuk. The team was angry, and with Julien ramping up the practices to create some intensity, the players were ready to take it out on the nearest person they could find — including each other.

When that Thursday finally rolled around to make a statement against an Atlanta team that had embarrassed them in late November, Thornton took it upon himself to wake his teammates up. Thornton dropped the gloves with Thrashers winger Eric Boulton right off the face-off. The two had fought in that Nov. 28 game, but this fight meant way more to the Bruins’ season.

It was an even bout that lasted well over a minute, so though Thornton came far from pummeling Boulton, he may have changed the entire Bruins’ season by making sure he showed his teammates that it would be an emotional game, and that it was. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Thornton also scored a pair of goals in the 4-1 win.

HONORABLE MENTION: Gregory Campbell vs. Tom Pyatt (Feb. 9), Milan Lucic vs. Jay Rosehill (March 31), Nathan Horton vs. Dion Phaneuf (Oct. 28).

DISHONORABLE MENTION: Tim Thomas vs. Carey Price (Feb. 9), Nathan Horton David Krejci vs. Michael Cammalleri (Dec. 16).

Read More: Bruins Year in Review,
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