|Nathan Horton hopes offseason work won’t change much with concussion||06.20.11 at 4:06 pm ET|
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|
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.
|Bruins year in review: Fight of the year||06.20.11 at 1:48 am ET|
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.”
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.
|Bruins year in review: Goal of the year||06.20.11 at 12:52 am ET|
Each day this week, WEEI.com will be taking a look back at the Bruins’ historic 2010-11 Stanley Cup Championship season. We start it off by looking at the goal of the year.
GOAL OF THE YEAR
Dennis Seidenberg, Dec. 2 vs. Tampa Bay
“I know he tried to do it more than once this year. That time it just worked. With Smith in there, I know he likes to play the puck, so he kind of faked him out.”
Dennis Seidenberg might be best known for making up one half of the Bruins’ impenetrable top defensive pairing in the playoffs, but teaming with Zdeno Chara was not the only way in which he left his mark on the Bruins’ championship season.
With the Bruins holding a 1-0 lead over the Lightning in the first period back in early December, Michael Ryder gave the puck to Seidenberg in the neutral zone. With just over 20 seconds left in the period, Seidenberg gained the red line and lowered his shoulder as he released the puck, seemingly into the corner. Given that he was going through all the motions of a dump-in (even David Krejci appeared ready to chase the puck toward the corner), Lightning goalie Mike Smith left his net to retrieve it.
The only problem was that Seidenberg was pulling hockey’s version of the hidden-ball trick. Despite throwing his shoulder as though he was dumping it in, Seidenberg fired a wrist shot on net. The puck reached Smith’s net just as he was leaving it, producing just about the most entertaining play that could come from such a routine scenario. The goal was Seidenberg’s first of the season. The B’s would go on to win the game, 8-1, and Smith would be yanked early in the third period.
For Smith, it was a lapse that only a goalie keen on handling the puck could make, and it’s one of the more embarrassing snafus a netminder could encounter. Seidenberg simply took advantage of the situation, and the game eventually got out of hand.
Did this goal have the pizazz of Tyler Seguin‘s first career goal in Prague or mean anywhere near what either of Nathan Horton‘s Game 7 gems? Not even close. Yet Seidenberg’s goal in that December blowout of the Lightning flashed a great combination of hockey smarts, guts and good ol’ fashioned trickery.
HONORABLE MENTION: Tyler Seguin Oct. 10 vs. Phoenix, Nathan Horton Game 7 vs. Montreal, Tyler Seguin Game 1 vs. Tampa Bay
|Tyler Seguin’s shot broke Milan Lucic’s toe in practice||06.20.11 at 12:00 am ET|
Bruins left winger Milan Lucic admitted Sunday at the team’s breakup day that Tyler Seguin broke his right big toe with a slap shot at a practice during the team’s championship run. Lucic, who said he had played the end of the regular season and into the playoffs with a sinus infection, said it was painful for him to play through it, but that he wanted to remain in the lineup.
“Against Tampa, just before Game 2 at practice, Seguin hit me in the toe with a slap shot, so I had a broken toe for the last 13 games, which sucked big time — which really, really sucked,” Lucic said.
“You don’t realize how much you actually push off it until you break it,” he added. “I don’t know if you guys had seen me limp a little bit, but I was limping a little bit. I definitely had to deal with that, especially in that Tampa series. That was kind of tough to deal with.”
Lucic said the injury “heals on its own” and will not require surgery. The 23-year-old did not miss any time in the postseason and totaled five goals and seven assists for 12 points in the playoffs. He led the B’s with 30 goals in the regular season.
|Tomas Kaberle wants to return to Bruins||06.19.11 at 11:59 pm ET|
Kaberle was acquired on Feb. 18 from the Maple Leafs in exchange for the Bruins’ first-round pick, center Joe Colborne and a 2012 second-round pick. The defenseman struggled with the B’s through the end of the season and into the playoffs but turned in a fine performance in the Stanley Cup finals vs. Vancouver and led all B’s defensemen in playoff points.
“Obviously we’re going to talk the next few days,” Kaberle said. “Everything was hectic the last couple of days. Hopefully we can sit down or we can talk to my agent and it will be nice to be back here.”
Asked for clarification on whether Boston is his first choice, Kaberle responded, “yes.”
Kaberle had a $4 million salary cap hit last season.
|Andrew Ference happy to share Cup with Boston, surprised by Kevin Bieksa’s comments||06.18.11 at 5:39 pm ET|
The city of Boston has waited 39 years. The fans win.
To be able to bring the Cup to Boston has been special for Ference and his teammates, who feel they can identify with fans now more than ever. It’s what they have in common, Ference feels, that makes the city’s celebration of the Cup even more special.
“I just feel like everybody feels like we do,” Ference said Saturday. “We’ve waited our whole lives to win it, and put in a lot of work and dedication and we finally get to raise the Cup, but all the hockey fans here have put in their hard work, too, supporting the teams and waiting so long. It’s amazing how many people come up and introduce themselves as season ticket-holders for x-number of years. That’s hard work. That’s support and that’s incredible dedication to the sport and to the team. Of course they’re as excited as we are, so it’s amazing.”
Ference, who took the Cup through Boston in a stroller, earlier in the week, said it was total blur when he raised the trophy for the first time.
“It really happened so quick, and even the whole time on the ice is just kind of a blur and busy. You’re in disbelief. It was great on the ice, but it was more fun almost in the locker room after to real savor it. On the ice, you’re really just hoping for a good picture so you can put it on the wall.”
LAY OFF THE JACKET
Ference said Saturday that his team drew no motivation from the lack of respect it received during the Stanley Cup finals, but did not that he was surprised that players such as Kevin Bieksa bad-mouthed them to the media.
Bieksa, of course, made fun of the 1980’s jacket that Ference bought on eBay for $35 — a hideous sight to any eyes — that one player wears after each game to denote the team’s most valuable player. Bieksa called the tradition childish, asking, “Don’t Pee Wee teams have that?”
“It just surprised me that he would say that publicly,” Ference said Saturday. “How does that benefit them? I don’t know. Even if you think it, you can chirp us all you want in your own locker room. Publicly, it’s just more surprising. I didn’t care, it doesn’t hurt our feelings. We love it and what it represents. Yeah, just to say some things publicly were surprising because it does absolutely no good for your own team.”
The Bruins got the last laugh, of course, as the Stanley Cup ended up wearing the jacket as the team celebrated in the visitors room at Rogers Arena Wednesday.
NOT ALL VANCOUVER FANS ARE BAD
Aside from a chorus of boos for commissioner Gary Bettman, the Canucks fans were respectful of the Bruins when they won the Cup, cheering as Zdeno Chara lifted the historic trophy, and getting louder for the likes of Tim Thomas and Vancouver native Milan Lucic. The Green Men, who famously harass opponents, even held a “Congrats Milan” sign. Ference said he and the Bruins appreciated how they were treated by the fans, and that the riots that ensued don’t typify all those who root for the Canucks.
“As much as bad stuff happened from some people there, there’s still some great, great hockey fans that respect the game,” Ference said. “You don’t want to taint everybody from what a few people messed up after the game.”
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