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Mike Murphy hopes to do away with post-Alexandre Burrows finger ‘crap’ 06.07.11 at 2:00 pm ET
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NHL vice president of hockey operations Mike Murphy met with the media Tuesday at Walter Brown Arena to discuss the league’s disciplinary actions in the Stanley Cup finals. Murphy suspended Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome for four games due to a late hit that ended Nathan Horton‘s series, something he viewed as a bad situation for the game given that the finals lost two players.

While Murphy’s decision on Rome has been well-received by people throughout the game, the league has been under heat since electing to not suspend Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows for biting Patrice Bergeron in Game 1. Since then, Burrows factored into all three Canucks’ goals in a Vancouver win in Game 2, while players from both teams have waved their fingers at one another and stuck their fingers in one another’s mouths, mocking the play on which Bergeron cut his finger and had to receive a tetanus shot.

Murphy said Tuesday that his intention is for such actions, for which Mark Recchi and Milan Lucic were criticized by Claude Julien, to stop.

“We made the right decision on Alex Burrows,” Murphy said. “We spoke with Alex, but I’m not here to speak about that. I dealt with that. We’ve moved on past that.

“We will deal with the issues of the series, the choppiness that’s gone on. [Senior vice president of hockey operations] Kris King is in charge of the series. We’ve addressed it. We’ve addressed it with the teams as early as this morning. I will be speaking with both general managers and coaches before the day is over about the crap that we’re seeing and the garbage that’s going on and some of the issues.”

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Aaron Rome, Alexandre Burrows, Claude Julien
Nathan Horton done for playoffs with severe concussion 06.07.11 at 10:25 am ET
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The Bruins announced Tuesday morning that first-line right wing Nathan Horton is out for the remainder of the Stanley Cup finals due to a severe concussion. Horton left Monday’s 8-1 Bruins’ Game 3 win in the first period on a stretcher after taking a blindside hit to the head from Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome.

Horton had 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) in 21 postseason games prior to the hit, though he did not have a point in the Stanley Cup finals. He totaled 26 goals and 27 assists for 53 points in the regular season.

With Horton out, the Bruins will likely turn to Michael Ryder on the first line, with Tyler Seguin re-entering the lineup on the team’s third line with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Aaron Rome, Nathan Horton, Stanley Cup Finals
Bruins explode past Canucks in Game 3 win 06.06.11 at 11:02 pm ET
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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.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Stanley Cup Finals,
Nathan Horton leaves in stretcher after blindside hit from Aaron Rome, transported to hospital 06.06.11 at 8:37 pm ET
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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.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Aaron Rome, Nathan Horton, Stanley Cup Finals
Bruins scratch Tyler Seguin in favor of Shawn Thornton 06.06.11 at 7:58 pm ET
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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.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Shawn Thornton, Stanley Cup Finals, Tyler Seguin
Zdeno Chara named finalist for Mark Messier Leadership Award 06.06.11 at 6:34 pm ET
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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.

Read More: Zdeno Chara,
Bruins-Canucks preview: Three keys, stats, and players to watch 06.06.11 at 1:54 am ET
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The Bruins have a tall task ahead of them as they look to overcome an 0-2 hole and turn the Stanley Cup finals into an actual series. Both games have been determined by just one goal thus far, and though the Bruins have played poorly from the most part, the first two games have shown the B’€™s can hang with the Canucks, even if they haven’€™t totally shown up yet. With the number three in mind, here’€™s a preview of Monday’s Game 3.

THREE THINGS THE BRUINS NEED TO DO

– Get better looks vs. Roberto Luongo and establish a net-front presence. We’€™ll say it until it changes, and it didn’€™t change enough in Game 2. The Canucks have been able to box the Bruins out so far in the series, but look at how the B’€™s scored their goals in Game 2. Milan Lucic buried a rebound from in front, and Mark Recchi redirected a shot in front of Luongo. When the Bruins were able to set up shop and do things from close range, the puck went in. It seems trying it any other way is an exercise in futility.

– Keep moving Zdeno Chara around on the power play. Recchi’€™s goal came as a result of Claude Julien moving Chara back to the point, but Julien should keep mixing it up when it comes to the Bruins’€™ mammoth captain. He still appeared to be a nuisance in front of Luongo in Game 1, so Julien should have enough confidence in Chara’€™s abilities in both areas to play him in different spots from power play to power play.

– Use the home crowd to their advantage. Whether or not they want to admit it, Rogers Arena was absolutely electric and had to have been a tough place to play. If the Garden can turn down the music and let the fans create an authentic atmosphere, maybe the Canucks can truly feel like they’€™re at an opponent’€™s home and not a wrestling match.

THREE STATS

– Both the Bruins and Canucks have seen four of their last five games be determined by one goal. The Bruins are 2-3 in that span, while the Canucks are 4-1.

– The four goals Tim Thomas has allowed over the last three games ties this stretch with his best of the postseason. Thomas let in four goals over Games 2 through 4 of the conference semifinals vs. the Flyers, though the difference is that the Bruins won all three of those games and have lost two of the three games in this stretch.

- Brad Marchand has gone four games without scoring. In the other two instances this postseason in which he went four straight without a goal, he scored the following game.

THREE PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON

Tim Thomas: He plays aggressive ‘€“ the sky is falling! As bad as the game-wining goal he allowed in overtime Saturday looked, the reaction by some suggest nobody has actually watched Thomas before. He’€™s all over the place, and he plays farther out of his net than most. It will be interesting to see how be performs in Game 3 given all the heat he’€™s been under for his style this series.

Alexandre Burrows: The Bruins have every reason to be furious that Burrows wasn’€™t suspended for Game 2, though they’€™re not showing it. At any rate, their No. 1 concern should be finding away to stop the guy who showed Saturday that his offensive ability (2 G, A in Game 2) is just as sharp as his teeth.

Rich Peverley: Where to play the speedy winger? Peverley has seen time on the second line, third line and fourth line (and the first if you want to count him taking one of Nathan Horton‘€™s shifts in Game 7 of the conference finals when Horton was banged up) in recent games. Peverley could continue to take some of Mark Recchi‘€™s shifts on the second line, or he could skate with Chris Kelly and Michael Ryder, as he did from late in the second period Saturday to the end of the contest. If and when Julien makes a move to get Shawn Thornton in the lineup at the expense of Tyler Seguin this series, the line of Kelly centering Peverley and Ryder would make sense.

Also, don’€™t rule out Peverley having a target on his back in Game 3. His two-handed slash to the back of Kevin Bieksa‘€™s knee didn’€™t go over well with Bieksa, his teammates or his coaches. Given the nature of the play, it shouldn’€™t have. Peverley really got away with one, and had he scored on his shot that followed the non-penalized slash, it would have looked even worse.

Read More: 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Alexandre Burrows, Brad Marchand, Chris Kelly
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