|11.06.10 at 5:43 pm ET|
There isn’t much that Nathan Horton hasn’t brought to the Bruins since coming from the Panthers in June. Entering Saturday night’s bout with the Blues, he leads the team in both goals (6) and points (11), and even treated the Garden crowd to a bout with Dion Phaneuf.
One statistic of his that is rather surprising is shots on goal. Considering that he’s buried more shots than any of his teammates it’s rather peculiar that he is not in the top five on his team in shots on goal, as Horton has put just 19 shots on net in 10 games this season. The good, of course, is that he has scored on nearly one third of his shots this season, while the bad is that the low shot total stands out in games in which he can’t find his way onto the box score.
“I definitely need to take more shots,” Horton admitted upon being told that 26 of 148 career goals have come on his only shot of the game. “The only way to score goals is to have more shots. It’s definitely something that I need to get better at, and don’t pass up an opportunity to score.”
Horton said that he has been told as much throughout his career, and that Claude Julien is among those who has encouraged him to fire the puck as much as he can.
“I think that’s one thing that I want to get better at in my game, is when the opportunity is there, to get a good opportunity to score,” Horton said. “When you’re doing too much, too fancy, you miss an opportunity to score.”
|11.05.10 at 9:36 pm ET|
The Bruins woke up big time in the third period in Washington and rallied to nearly steal a point or two in a game in which they were left for dead on Friday night. Ultimately, it was Natick-born John Carlson who did the Bruins in as the Capitals escaped the game with a 5-3 victory.
The Bruins were offensively nonexistent through the first two periods, putting just nine shots on Washington netminder Michal Neuvirth, all of which the 22-year-old stooped. The Capitals, on the other hand, were able to to put three past Tim Thomas, who for the first time this season was pulled from the game.
With the Bruins down, 3-0, entering the third, the team rallied with Tuukka Rask in net and had goals from Michael Ryder, Nathan Horton, and Shawn Thornton to tie the game and chase Neuvirth, who ended the night with just 11 saves on 14 shots. Carlson negated the sting of the Bruins’ rally when he beat Tuukka Rask from the point at 13:25 of the third. Alexander Ovechkin added an empty netter with 51.5 seconds remaining. Braden Holtby, who made his NHL debut in replacing Neuvirth, picked up the win.
The Bruins will take on the Blues Saturday night at TD Garden.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Similar to the case of Tuukka Rask in the B’s two losses entering the game, the Bruins essentially burned a good performance from Tim Thomas. The team came out flat, and after Thomas was bombarded with 25 shots through two periods and allowed a season-high three goals, he was relegated to the bench for the third period.
The good that came of the goaltending switch, of course, was that it both gave Rask the playing time he simply hasn’t been able to find in the midst of Thomas’ outstanding streak to begin the season, and he nearly was able to see the return on his solid play that he still has not been treated to all season. Even so, Rask is now 0-3-0 on the season while Thomas remains unbeaten.
– Wednesday night, shorthanded goals were a happy topic for the Bruins, but the same can’t be said for Friday. After scoring two shorthanded goals against the Sabres in a Bruins victory, the B’s allowed Alexander Semin to beat Thomas late in the second with Boston on the man advantage. The goal proved to be major given the B’s unprecedented comeback in the following period.
– The Bruins fell victim to some rough penalty calls in the first period. First, Tyler Seguin was handed a boarding minor for what appeared to be a clean hit on Dave Steckel. Brad Marchand soon followed Seguin into the box thanks to a tripping call that raised some eyebrows. The Bruins were able to kill off the 5-on-3, but spending unnecessary time shorthanded in the first period sure is an easy way to start off a night of lackluster offensive productive.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Michael Ryder had his second goal in as many games, and though it wasn’t prettiest, somehow getting it past Neuvirth in the midst of a scrum may have been what the B’s needed to get something going.
The Ryder goal did just that, sparking life that the B’s hadn’t shown in front of Thomas the entire game, and they rode the momentum to make it a one-goal game minutes later.
– Nathan Horton picked up his sixth goal of the season with a slapshot from right outside the top of the circle to bring the Bruins within one with more than 15 minutes to play in the third.
Horton once again had a low shot total (two), but it seems that such is simply the norm for Horton. He won’t take many shots, but it’s a safe bet that a high percentage of them will find their way to the back of the net.
– Shawn Thornton was beyond instrumental in the team’s comeback. First, he was able to draw a penalty at a key point in the third when he induced an interference minor on John Erskine. It was on the ensuing power play the Horton was able to make it a one-goal game.
Thornton later made it a tie game when he beat Michal Neuvirth, who seemed far more concerned with Tyler Seguin than the fourth-line winger. With two goals, Thornton has now doubled his total from last season.
|11.05.10 at 8:38 pm ET|
The Bruins continued their offensive struggles from the first period and the Capitals found their way to Tim Thomas, and the B’s trail Washington, 3-0, after two periods.
Tyler Sloan picked up his first goal of the season through traffic less then a minute in. At 7:35, defenseman Mike Green, who did not play in either of the first two contests between the two teams, made up for lost time by adding to the lead and extending his point streak to four games. He was able to beat Thomas after wisely holding the puck as a sliding Gregory Campbell went through the lane.
There were two penalties in the period, the first of which was slashing call on Alexander Ovechkin at 16:52. The Capitals got the last laugh, as a 3-on-1 shorthanded bid resulted in Alexander Semin’s eighth goal of the season. Mark Stuart also went off at 19:27 for a trip.
Despite the un-Thomas-like numbers from the period, Thomas still made timely saves, notable stopping Semin by the skin of his teeth more than halfway through the period.
Through two periods, the Bruins have just nine shots on Michal Neuvirth.
|11.05.10 at 7:42 pm ET|
The Bruins were able to muster just three shots in the first period, making it a relatively boring affair for Capitals’ goaltender Michal Neuvirth, and the teams are scoreless after one.
Tyler Seguin had probably his most physical play of the season, throwing a hard shoulder at Dave Steckel and going off for boarding as a result. The call was a bit iffy, and Seguin was joined in the box by Brad Marchand just over a minute later thanks to a play in which he inadvertently tripped former Bruin Mike Knuble. With one of their penalty killers in the box in Marchand, the B’s were able to hold off the Capitals’ powerplay for the duration of the 5-on-3.
Milan Lucic and Eric Fehr seemed ready to drop the gloves prior to a face-off in the neutral zone, but the only fight that occurred in the first was between Adam McQuaid and Matt Hendricks.
Tim Thomas stopped all eight shots he faced and has still yet to allow a first-period goal through eight games this season. He had perhaps the save of the period when he quickly reacted to a turnover and kicked a leg out at a shot off the stick of Jason Chimera. Of course, Chimera already has one one goal on Thomas this season thanks to a turnover in the B’s home-opener, so Thomas was quick to limit his luck attains the Bruins netminder.
|11.05.10 at 4:30 pm ET|
Sharks captain Joe Thornton, known around these parts as that guy who wore No. 19 before Tyler Seguin, has been suspended for two games for his questionable hit to the head of Blues center David Perron, reports Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
|11.05.10 at 4:01 pm ET|
Claude Julien probably meant it when he said on Friday that he and the Bruins were “anticipating as hard a game as we’ve had all year,” as the B’s final regular season trip to the nation’s capital likely won’t be an easy one.
Bruce Boudreau‘s club enters Friday night’s tilt with the Bruins second in the Eastern Conference with 16 points. Since the Bruins took two straight from the Capitals last month, Alexander Ovechkin‘s squad has gotten back into a groove, winning four of its last five games. In fact, half of the Capitals’ losses this season have come against the Bruins.
With Tim Thomas expected to get the start on Thursday, he will put an impressive 12-4-2 career record against the Capitals on the line. He’s allowed two goals to the Capitals this season, though one was the result of a blatant giveaway on his part that led to a Jason Chimera freebie.
Milan Lucic has a team-high three points against the Capitals this season, picking up a goal and two assists over the B’s two games against Washington. Matt Hunwick, David Krejci, Jordan Caron, Nathan Horton, Michael Ryder, and Zdeno Chara also have goals against the Capitals this season.
Here is the projected lineup:
Lucic ‘ Krejci ‘ Horton
Caron ‘ Bergeron- Recchi
Wheeler -Seguin- Ryder
Marchand ‘ Campbell- Thornton
Chara ‘ Ference
Hunwick ‘ Seidenberg
Stuart ‘ McQuaid
Want the quote of the day? Here’s one from Boudreau on his first impression of Thomas, as told to Brian McNally of the Washington Examiner:
‘Yeah ‘ I’m wondering who is this chubby little goalie that’s not allowing any goals in when he was in Providence. And he’d take his mask off and his face would be really red and I’m going ‘Wow, he can’t keep this up.’ But he always did. He played so great against our teams. I’d sit there and wonder why no NHL team has jumped all over this guy and then Mike O’Connell was smart enough to see that he was good enough and brought him up to Boston.’
Speaking of Thomas, click here to read the story behind the story of his offseason hip surgery.
|11.03.10 at 9:29 pm ET|
Brad Marchand scored his first career goal and Tim Thomas improved to 7-0-0 on the season as the Bruins defeated the Sabres, 5-2, in Buffalo on Wednesday night. The B’s are now 5-0-0 on the road to open the season for the first time in franchise history.
The Bruins also got goals from Patrice Bergeron, Blake Wheeler, and Michael Ryder, chasing Sabres starting goaltender Jhonas Enroth from the game after a period. Patrick Lalime played the second and third periods, allowing just Ryder’s goal, as reigning Vezina winner Ryan Miller missed the game was a lower-body injury. Milan Lucic added an empty-net goal with 2:07 remaining in the third period and is now tied with Nathan Horton for the team lead with five goals.
Thomas allowed a pair of goals on 35 shots. It was the first time this season that he has allowed multiple goals in a game.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Good to see Marchand pick up his first NHL goal. It took him a little longer than the likes of Tyler Seguin and Jordan Caron, who both took only two games (Caron’s was in the third game of the season, but his second game), but Marchand now has a goal to his name 29 games into his career. The goal came on a breakaway, as Marchand hopped onto the ice and ran with it.
– The penalty kill didn’t stop at Marchand’s goal. With Dennis Seidenberg in the box later in the first period, Marchand helped set up a shorthanded bid that led to Patrice Bergeron’s second goal of the season and the B’s second shorthanded goal.
– Tim Thomas gets attention in both sections here. He is now the first Bruins goalie to start a season 7-0-0. After Wednesday’s victory, Thomas has posted three shutouts, allowed one goal in three games, and has had one two-goal game.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Nathan Horton is… under “What went wrong?!”
Yes. He picked up an assist on Lucic’s empty-netter, but he wasn’t abe to join the B’s scoring party early on. The winger took too much time with the puck on golden opportunities in both the first and third periods, with David Krejci seemingly putting him in position to put one into a net vacated by an out-of-position Patrick Lalime.
Horton failed to get a shot on goal in the game and now has had either one or zero shots in on goal in four of his nine games this season. He’s had two or less in six games. Now, the plus side of this is that when Horton does set to shoot, the press box readies themselves to watch the replay of a goal seconds later. Five goals on 17 shots is incredible. Seventeen shots through nine games from the best scorer on the team isn’t quite as impressive.
– While the B’s penalty kill did have more goals than any line or unit in the game on Wednesday, they also did allow Drew Stafford’s second period tally. The good that comes with the bad: it was just the third goal the penalty kill has allowed all season.
– Much like Horton getting guff is a case of finding negatives within a positive, Tim Thomas did have his worst game of the season, and it was quite apparent given that he, for the first time all season allowed goals. Stafford’s power-play tally in the second, as well as an Andrej Sekera unassisted goal in the third help make the Sabres the first team all season to score more than one goal against Thomas, who improved to 7-0-0 on Wednesday, all season.