|06.07.11 at 2:20 am ET|
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.”
|06.07.11 at 12:50 am ET|
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.”
|06.06.11 at 11:02 pm ET|
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.
|06.06.11 at 8:37 pm ET|
Bruins forward Nathan Horton was motionless on the ice roughly five minutes into the first period of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals Monday after taking a blindside hit to the head from Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome. Horton did not have the puck as Rome dropped the first-line forward at the blueline. The back of Horton’s head was the first thing to hit the ice. After minutes without moving, Horton was taken off the ice in a stretcher. Rome was given a five-minute interference major and game misconduct.
The Bruins announced later in the period that Horton was transported to Mass General Hospital and is moving his extremities.
|06.06.11 at 7:58 pm ET|
The Bruins have scratched rookie Tyler Seguin in favor of Shawn Thornton for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals. This is Seguin’s 12th healthy scratch of the playoffs, as he sat out the first two rounds before playing Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals and scoring three goals in his first two games.
Thornton has not played since Patrice Bergeron returned from his concussion in Game 4 of the conference finals.
|06.06.11 at 7:38 pm ET|
Join DJ Bean, Mike Petraglia, Joey the Fish and plenty others from TD Garden for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals. Down two games to none, the Bruins are looking to use home ice to find their way back into the series.
|06.06.11 at 6:34 pm ET|
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was announced as a finalist for the 2011 Mark Messier Leadership Award on Monday, with Messier making the announcement at TD Garden prior to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals. The award is given to players based on their leadership and contributions to society. The other finalists are Shane Doan of the Coyotes and Nicklas Lidstrom of the Red Wings.
Past winners include Sidney Crosby (2010), Jarome Iginla (2009) and Mats Sundin (2008). Of Chara, Messier said “I’m a big fan of Zdeno’s from the time he came into the league” and “I don’t think there’s a player who’s improved as much as this guy.” Chara has captained the Bruins since signing as an unrestriceted free agent in 2006.
Messier is the only player in NHL history to captain Stanley Cup champions in two different cities, as he won it as captain of the 1990 Oilers (who defeated the Bruins in the finals) and the 1994 Rangers.