|Marc Savard: ‘I feel so bad’ for Nathan Horton||04.11.12 at 1:16 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — When the Bruins traded for Nathan Horton in the 2010 offseason, the hope was that he could thrive in the Boston offense thanks to the skills of Marc Savard. Scorers such as Phil Kessel had excelled when skating on Savard’s line, so fans and media alike wondered if Savard could make Horton a 40-goal scorer.
Unfortunately for the Bruins, Savard and Horton haven’t shared many goals, or even games together. What they do have in common is that they’ve seen the bad side of playing in the NHL: concussions and post-concussion syndrome.
On the day that the Bruins announced Horton would miss the postseason with a concussion, Savard took to twitter to express his thoughts on the news, which hit close to him given his history. Savard wrote the following:
“I feel so bad for my boy Horty. Although I believe both parties are making the right decision. He’s too young.”
Savard, who is in the second year of a seven-year deal with the Bruins, missed the entire season with post-concussion syndrome and it is still unknown whether he will ever play again. Horton’s concussion is his second in less than seven months.
|Peter Chiarelli: Post-concussion symptoms accompanied progress with Nathan Horton||04.11.12 at 12:53 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli met with the media towards the end of Wednesday’s practice to discuss the team’s decision to shut Nathan Horton down for the playoffs.
Horton, who suffered his concussion on a Jan. 22 hit from Flyers forward Tom Sestito, was having a rough time in his recovery. He tried skating days after the concussion, but was shut down after suffering a setback. Horton returned to the ice last week, but he continued to feel post-concussion symptoms and the B’s didn’t want him to put pressure on himself to rush back.
“We felt it just wasn’t in the long-term interest of Nathan to be having the specter hanging over him of trying to come back during this playoff season,” Chiarelli said. “He’s made one step forward, and then two steps back and we just made the determination, upon consultation with our doctors, with Nathan, that it would be prudent to shut him down for the playoffs and continue to rehab for next year.”
The one step forward/two steps back is what made the decision clear for the Bruins.
“He’d be improving and then he’d have some symptoms,” Chiarelli said. “They weren’t huge symptoms, but they’d always come up at some point after three, four, five or six days of positive stuff.
“It was a frustrating exercise for Nathan, it was a frustrating exercise for us because we’ve been through this rehab before with players and I’ve seen all kinds of rehab patterns now because usually you can see when the player has color, and when he’s animated, you think he’s turned the corner and then they have a bout of post-concussion symptoms and they manifest themselves in different ways. With Nathan, sometimes it’d be just a fogginess, sometimes he wouldn’t feel right and sometimes there’d be a big headache. But it was always after three, four or five days of positive progress.”
Chiarelli added that Horton, who had 17 goals and 15 assists for 32 points in 46 games this season, was “relieved” when the decision was finally made to shut him down. The GM said Horton will rehab in off-hours and “might take a couple weeks off.”
“I think with Nathan, he gets within the group and he looks back at his contributions this past year and last playoffs and he starts getting anxious and that probably compounds it, too,” Chiarelli said. “I think he felt a sense of relief, and again talking to Nathan over the course of the last couple of weeks, he doesn’t look bad ‘ he looks good actually. But he gets these bouts ‘ the fogginess doesn’t feel right and you have to be very careful.”
Chiarelli was asked whether he is confident that Horton will be ready for next season, but as the B’s have learned in the past, you never know with concussions.
“Yeah, I am but who knows? Who knows?” he said while shrugging. “IGoing into two weeks ago you had asked me [about[ him playing this playoffs, I [would say], ‘You know, there’s a chance.’ And then he had a couple of setbacks and then you have to take a step back and kind of look at the whole thing and that’s what we did.”
One thing that Chiarelli was adamant about was whether this concussion, which was initially termed “mild,” had anything to do with the concussion he suffered less than seven months earlier on a hit from Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals.
“Totally unconnected, totally unconnected and the symptoms were completely different,” Chiarelli said. ‘¦ “It was clear to me it was totally unconnected to the first concussion.”
|Adam McQuaid to miss Game 1 vs. Capitals with upper-body injury||04.11.12 at 12:36 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins finally gave a little more news on Adam McQuaid.
McQuaid missed practice for the third straight day Wednesday at Ristuccia Arena. After the skate, B’s coach Claude Julien announced that McQuaid, who is dealing with an upper-body injury, will not be in the lineup for Game 1 against the Capitals Thursday.
|Adam McQuaid misses third straight practice||04.11.12 at 10:51 am ET|
WILMINGTON — The lines and attendees of Wednesday’s practice was unchanged for the Bruins, as Adam McQuaid remained the only absence. McQuaid is still out with what the team is calling an upper-body injury.
Here are the lines:
Milan Lucic ‘ David Krejci ‘ Rich Peverley
Brad Marchand ‘ Patrice Bergeron ‘ Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot ‘ Chris Kelly ‘ Brian Rolston
Daniel Paille/Jordan Caron ‘ Gregory Campbell ‘ Shawn Thornton
|Nathan Horton done for the season||04.11.12 at 10:43 am ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins announced Wednesday that right wing Nathan Horton will miss the 2012 postseason. The news comes as no major shock, as Horton has been out since late January with his latest concussion.
Horton suffered a concussion on Jan. 22 against the Flyers on a hit from Tom Sestito, his second concussion in less than seven months. He had previously been knocked out of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals after a hit from Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome left him concussed in Game 3.
In 46 games this season, Horton had 17 goals and 15 assists for 32 points. He had tried to resume skating in early February, but suffered a setback before eventually returning to the ice last week. Despite the fact that he was skating, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Sunday that Horton was a “long shot” to return during the postseason given the two weeks he would need to return after eventually being medically cleared.
|Bruins sign Boston College captain Tommy Cross||04.10.12 at 7:49 pm ET|
The Bruins signed former second-round pick and Boston College captain Tommy Cross to an entry-level deal Tuesday. He is expected to report to Providence and make his AHL debut Friday.
Cross had five goals and 19 assists for 24 points this season as a senior. The defenseman won national titles in 2010 and 2012, as the Eagles defeated Ferris St. for the National Championship this past Saturday. In his career at BC, Cross had 17 goals and 33 assists for 50 points in 134 points.
The Bruins traded up in the second round in 2007 to select Cross, a left-shot blue liner and native of Simsbury, CT, with the 35th overall pick. Since then, one big concern has been his health, as he has had three major surgeries on right knee.
Cross isn’t the only Eagle to sign a deal Tuesday. Junior forward Chris Kreider signed with the Rangers and will report to the big club, thus burning the first year of his deal.
|Looking to avoid another postseason power outage, Bruins work on man advantage||04.10.12 at 5:23 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — What is the key to Claude Julien‘s power play finding success this postseason?
“Not waiting till the finals, that would be one key,” Julien said Tuesday.
Julien was, of course, referring to last season’s power-play struggles. The 2010-11 Bruins were many things, including the team that got to the Stanley Cup finals without a functioning power play.
They didn’t score a single power-play goal in the first round (0-for-21 over seven games), and the B’s went 5-for-61 on the man advantage in the playoffs before waking up with a 5-for-27 showing against the Canucks.
This season, the Bruins finished the regular 15th in the league on the man advantage, converting 17.1 percent of the time. However, the man advantage crawled to the finish line, going converting on just two of 21 power plays in the last 10 regular-season games.
On Tuesday, the Bruins worked on their power play, with the first unit consisting of Zdeno Chara, Joe Corvo, David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Brian Rolston, while the second unit featured Dennis Seidenberg, Rich Peverley, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin.
“This is a little bit of I guess touchy subject for everybody for quite a while now,” Julien said. “I think we finished 15th so we finished in the middle of the pack this year, but again, when you look at our team and you say well we’ve got one guy with 29, 27 goals our scoring is spread we don’t have those [Steven] Stamkoses. We don’t have those kind of guys.”
Regardless of where the Bruins’ man advantage finished in the regular season, the B’s know that it’s all about the playoffs now. Just as the Canucks, who finished the 2010-11 regular season with the best power play in the league (24.3 percent) but went 2-for-33 in the Stanley Cup finals against the Bruins.
“Back in the finals, we played a team that had the number one power play but then they ran into a gritty group of penalty killers and at the end of the day we were able to win that match up,” Julien said. “It goes hand and hand, and we keep working on it everyday because we know that’s an area becomes a challenge for us.”
The Bruins could exceed last season’s first-round power-play performance with a tally on the man advantage Thursday.