|Nathan Horton taking high road after Dion Phaneuf fight||03.20.11 at 1:17 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — By now, Nathan Horton‘s reputation with the media is well-known. Very friendly, asks you how you’re doing before he answers a single question, and thanks you for your time after you’ve spoken with him. Rarely is he caught without a smile on his face, but when it comes to dropping the gloves on the ice, his facial expression turns to borderline maniacal.
Horton had every reason to remain angry after his fight Saturday with Dion Phaneuf. The Toronto captain elected to leave his helmet on in the third-period bout, and took the decision against Horton, who had already removed his helmet.
After the game, Don Cherry blasted Phaneuf on Hockey Night in Canada, and it would be understandable if Horton, who sported stitches on his right eyebrow Sunday, had something to say about it as well. Instead, Horton took the high road.
“I don’t even remember the game,” Horton, who is generally elaborate with his answers, said. “It’s done with.”
Instead of discussing whose helmets were left on during fights, Horton is more concerned with the team getting back on track after dropping six of their last seven games.
“When you’re not winning, it’s not fun to come to the rink like [before],” he said. “When we were winning it was fun. Obviously right now, things aren’t going our way, and it’s been tough.”
|Bruins take the ice for Sunday practice||03.20.11 at 11:21 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Ah, the rare Sunday practice. After an ugly 5-2 loss in Toronto Saturday, the B’s took the ice here at Ristuccia Arena in attempt to work out the issues that have made them losers of six of their last seven games (1-3-3).
|Maple Leafs crush Bruins in Toronto||03.19.11 at 9:46 pm ET|
Tim Thomas, who allowed four goals on the night, was pulled in the second period, but returned to start the third. The Leafs got goals from Luke Schenn, Nazem Kadri, Joey Crabb, Mike Brown, and Keith Aulie. Thomas was yanked after Brown’s second-period goal, though Tuukka Rask played only 11:42 before Thomas was reinserted between the pipes.
Adam McQuaid had the first Bruins goal, firing a puck off Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf’s skate to beat an otherwise outstanding James Reimer. Daniel Paille scored with 19.8 seconds remaining in the game. The B’s went 0-for-2 on the power play, and have scored just two goals on the man advantage since acquiring Tomas Kaberle.
The Bruins have now lost six of their last seven games, going 1-3-3. They will return to TD Garden to face the Devils on Tuesday.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– Can’t help but wonder what the reasoning was behind putting Thomas back in net to start the third period after yanking him in the second. Rask did not appear to be a happy camper after Dennis Seidenberg screened him on Aulie’s goal, though Claude Julien said after the game that the decision had nothing to do with it. Julien’s plan could be to use Rask against the Devils on Tuesday, so perhaps he was just trying to preserve him after playing him last two games.
– Overall it was a tremendously uninspired effort for the Bruins. Too many odd man rushes did them in, and it wasn’t as though they were getting beaten by a bunch of elite scorers. None of the five players to score for the Leafs had more than three goals entering the game.
– When the Bruins stumbled in the three games (0-1-2) following their seven-game win-streak, it seemed the road would be a good place to get back on track. Instead of finding their way, the B’s continued their skid on a four-game road trip that produced just one win. Eight of their final 11 games will be played at home, so they’ll try to straighten things out a the Garden after a very unsuccessful road trip.
– The seven-game point streak for David Krejci has come to an end. He had 3-6-9 totals over his last seven contests.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– Schenn didn’t make McQuaid look very good on the game’s first goal, so it was good to see the rookie blueliner make up for it with his second goal of the season. On any other night, getting beaten for a goal and scoring a goal doesn’t make for a standout performance, but there was little to like from the Bruins’ standpoint Saturday.
– People get ahead of themselves when it comes to Tyler Seguin and whether he deserves more playing time, but he was a rare bright spot for the Bruins on an otherwise very ugly night. Reimer robbed the rookie a number of times, but Seguin didn’t need to score to stand out amongst an unproductive Boston bunch.
– This speaks to how bad things were, but Johnny Boychuk, Zdeno Chara, Krejci and the Merlot Line can pat themselves on the back knowing that they were the only two Bruins skaters to not finish the night with a negative rating.
|Tim Thomas pulled as Maple Leafs add to lead||03.19.11 at 8:50 pm ET|
Twenty-nine seconds after Joey Crabb buried a rebound past Thomas to make it 3-1, Mike Brown beat the B’s netminder five-hole from the left face-off circle, giving the Leafs a three-goal lead. Claude Julien then elected to yank his starter, putting Tuukka Rask in. Rask looked good for the most part but was beaten by Keith Aulie on a shot he never saw. He seemed upset following the play, as he was screened by Dennis Seidenberg.
Of the six players to score goals between the two teams tonight, none of them had more than three goals on the season entering the game.
The period featured some more encouraging signs from Tyler Seguin. The 19-year-old is playing a more confident game and was robbed by James Reimer earlier in the period on a breakaway. For the second straight game, he has gotten time on the power play, and his style of play really fits with the speed of Rich Peverley, with whom he’s skated of late.
|Bruins trail Maple Leafs after one||03.19.11 at 7:57 pm ET|
Given how low-scoring the Bruins and Maple Leafs‘ meetings have been this season, it was unlikely that there would be three first-period goals Saturday. It was even more unlikely that players who rarely score would produce the goals, but all of that came to be as the Maple Leafs lead the B’s, 2-1, after one.
Luke Schenn scored his fourth goal of the season when he skated the puck all the way from the Toronto Blue line, going around Adam McQuaid and beating Tim Thomas glove side at 9:44. Not to be outdone, Adam McQuaid saw to at that Schenn wouldn’t be the only surprise name on the scoring sheet when he fired a puck off Dion Phaneuf’s skate and past James Reimer. Forty seconds later, Nazem Kadri scored his first career goal when Tim Thomas didn’t seem to ever see the wrist shot from the point.
Michael Ryder gave the Leafs their first power play of the night when he sent the puck into the stands from the Bruins’ zone for a delay of game penalty at 6:41. The Maple Leafs failed to convert, while the B’s did not have a power play in the period.
The Bruins are outshooting the Maple Leafs, 11-9.
|Andrew Ference returns to Bruins’ lineup||03.19.11 at 6:54 pm ET|
This is Ference’s first time in the lineup since Feb. 26. He had been out with a lower body injury.
|Andrew Ference a game-time decision for Bruins vs. Maple Leafs||03.19.11 at 5:47 pm ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters Saturday that defenseman Andrew Ference will be a game-time decision when the B’s take on the Maple Leafs in Toronto Saturday night. Ference has been out since Feb. 26 with a lower-body injury.
In 58 games this season, Ference has two goals and 11 assists for 13 points and a career-high plus-24 rating. If Kampfer plays, Steven Kampfer could be a healthy scratch. Kampfer had a rough game Thursday in Nashville, as a mental lapse allowed the Predators’ game-tying goal, while his holding penalty in overtime led to the game-winner.
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