|Source: Nathan Horton dealing with chronic shoulder injury||06.13.13 at 7:15 pm ET|
CHICAGO — According to a source with direct knowledge of the situation, Nathan Horton has been dealing with chronic left shoulder subluxation, which caused him to leave Wednesday’s Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals during the first overtime. The injury was originally suffered when Horton fought Penguins forward Jarome Iginla on April 20, with Horton missing the final five games of the regular season before returning for the playoffs.
Horton has received shots prior to each game to deal with the pain, and though his shoulder has popped out of its socket at points during the playoffs, Wednesday’s occurrence, when he bumped into Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson in front of the Chicago net on a Bruins power play, was the most painful thus far. His shoulder was popped back in after he left the ice, but he was in too much pain to return to the game.
The injury will not require surgery until the offseason, when he is likely to receive a procedure to tighten the socket so the shoulder stops popping out. It is unknown whether Horton will play in Game 2 on Saturday, with the team labeling him “day-to-day,” though he would not have been able to play had the Bruins had a game on Thursday.
Horton is second among all skaters with 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) this postseason and will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. His agent offered no comment on the situation.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
Mike Petraglia contributed to this report.
|Phil Bourque on D&C: Bruins-Penguins will go back to Pittsburgh||06.07.13 at 10:24 am ET|
Penguins radio analyst Phil Bourque, a Chelmsford native, joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning, and while much of the talk was about why the Penguins have played so poorly in the series, he made no jokes about what he expects to happen next in the Eastern Conference finals.
“I believe we're going back to Pittsburgh for Game 5,” Bourque said, echoing the thoughts of coach Dan Bylsma. “I believe you're going to see the best out of the Pittsburgh Penguins. I think it'll be another low-scoring, tight game, one-goal game, and it's all about the breaks right now. It's about who's going to get the bounces, who's going to get the breaks, who's best players are going to step up and help the rest.”
“I fully believe we're going back to Pittsburgh for five ' and then it's game on. Then anything can happen. The seeds are planted.”
Bourque referenced two other series that could give the Penguins some encouragement: the Bruins-Flyers conference semifinals in 2010, during which Boston took a 3-0 lead before completely collapsing, as well as the AHL Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Providence Bruins and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
Like in the NHL version, the P-Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 lead. But then, without Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski, who were called up to Boston, Providence lost the next four games.
“In our eyes, the seeds are planted [if Pittsburgh wins Game 4]. You have a lot of players still here from 2010 for what happened with the Flyers, and we're going to beat the drum of what happened with the Providence Bruins and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Baby Penguins,” Bourque said. “When games are very tight, we've hit some posts. And I know the Bruins have hit some posts, too, but one or two of those go in in a tight playoff series, tight playoff game, that can change a lot.”
The Penguins will need to fix what has plagued them the first three games ' namely, their defensive lapses and not trying to rush or force things in their offensive zone ' and their big-name players will need to play the way they are capable of.
“I'm not sure what it is, but we have not played even close to Penguin hockey yet this series,” Bourque said. “The Penguins stars have not shown up in this series yet. I think they've gotten pretty good goaltending for the most part, given them a chance. But defensively, that's my biggest concern, our defensive lapses.”
Bourque credited the Bruins for playing “perfect road hockey” in the first two games in Pittsburgh and doing what they had to to squeak out a Game 3 win. Pittsburgh’s deficit is a combination of the Pens’ poor play and Bruins’ strong play, and Pittsburgh has yet to truly test goalie Tuukka Rask.
Bourque, who played eight seasons for the Penguins in the 1980s and early 90s, acknowledged that heads may roll in Pittsburgh, particularly if the Pens get swept, but he isn’t so sure coach Bylsma’s job is in danger either way.
Still, he expects the Penguins to make some noise before it’s all said and done. Jarome Iginla, who has nearly been invisible all series, could play a role in that.
“I'm at a loss of words,” Bourque said of the midseason acquisition. “I can't believe that he hasn't been a major factor in this series. Maybe we'll see it [Friday] night. But he's been uncharacteristically quiet. He had a couple of big hits in Game 3 when you thought he was going to really be the Jarome Iginla that everybody feared when they played against him. He's been really, really quiet.
“On the Boston side I'm thinking, 'Well, maybe this guy's going to wake up tonight.' ”
|Pierre McGuire on M&M: Pittsburgh ‘has an answer for the Bruins’ fourth line’||05.29.13 at 1:00 pm ET|
NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to preview the Bruins-Penguins Eastern Conference finals.
Boston’s fourth line of Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton came up big for the Bruins against the Rangers, playing key roles in Games 3 and 5. McGuire said Pittsburgh’s depth will negate that advantage.
“There was no answer from the Rangers for Boston’s fourth line. '¦ Pittsburgh, I can tell you, has an answer for the Bruins’ fourth line,” McGuire said. ” Paille, Campbell and Thornton aren’t going to run around and dominate the way they did the Rangers. Because guys like Jussi Jokinen, guys like Joe Vitale, who played at Northeastern University, a kid out of St. Louis, guys like Craig Adams, who played at Harvard. You’re going to see, these guys can make a mess and they can put you through the boards as much as Thornton can, as much as Paille can, they can fight as much as Campbell can. That’s going to be the X factor that really helped the Bruins last series, it won’t be as much of an impact this series.”
Andrew Ference, who missed the entire Rangers series with what the Bruins called a lower-body injury, skated with his teammates at Tuesday’s practice. That’s let to discussion about which young defenseman the B’s might sit if the team wants to make room for the veteran. McGuire suggested the B’s might want to give Ference more time to recover fully.
“He’s walking around with a walking boot on, so clearly there’s a problem with the lower part of his foot or ankle,” McGuire said. “It’s not easy to come back from something like that at this time of the year. So, I don’t think they’re in a rush. And Andrew would probably be the first person to tell you: You know what, when a team’s playing as well as Boston’s playing, especially those players, you probably don’t take them out of the lineup.”
Another topic of discussion around the Bruins is whether the team should move Tyler Seguin back up to the second line in place of Jaromir Jagr.
“We saw what Jaromir could do in confined areas against the Rangers, and there were points in that series where he really wanted to take the puck over but he was overextending his shifts and you could see he was breaking down a little bit,” McGuire said. “Tyler, you could see, and I talked to Tyler a couple of times during the series, he was fighting it in terms of getting pucks in, but he was still making plays. I know he turned the puck over a couple of times. That’s going to happen with offensive players, you’re going to turn the puck over because they’re trying to make stuff happen with the puck. It’s the checkers that you can’t afford having them turn it over. Because they don’t do much with it. They chip it in and chip it out, and they usually don’t score a lot.
“Tyler will probably get augmented minutes. I’ve got to believe the coaching staff is seeing what we’re seeing, and that is that here’s a kid that’s got a chance to be a difference-maker, and his speed is going to be huge.”
|Claude Julien: Proving Jarome Iginla wrong not Bruins’ priority vs. Penguins||05.27.13 at 1:20 pm ET|
Jarome Iginla chose the Penguins over the Bruins, and now they have a chance to make that decision look wrong.
The Bruins and Flames agreed to a deal prior to the trade deadline that would have sent Matt Bartkowski, Alexander Khokhlachev and a first-round pick to Calgary in exchange for Iginla. The veteran right wing had said he would waive his no-trade clause for the Bruins, Penguins, Kings or Blackhawks, but upon the agreement of the trade informed the Flames that he would only go to the Penguins. The Flames then negotiated a deal with Pittsburgh to accommodate him.
At the time, the Bruins said they took no issue with Iginla’s decision, but the Iginla-Boston storyline will certainly get attention during the Conference finals. Claude Julien understands that, but he sees bigger motivation to beat the Penguins than simply proving Iginla wrong.
“I would say that moving to the Stanley Cup Finals is way more important than that situation,” Julien said. “That's where our focus has to be.”
|Jarome Iginla helps Penguins past Bruins||04.20.13 at 3:16 pm ET|
It was bad enough that Jarome Iginla didn’t want to play for the Bruins, but on Saturday he helped the Penguins defeated the B’s, 3-2, at TD Garden.
With Brad Marchand in the box for roughing, Iginla scored on a slapshot from the point 4:43 into the third period to break a 1-1 tie. The puck went through traffic before zipping past Tuukka Rask’s five-hole. Kris Letang scored on a wrist shot at 8:29 of the third to make it 3-1. Tyler Seguin scored with 2.6 seconds left to make it a one-goal late, but it was too little, too late.
The win was Pittsburgh’s sixth straight and it allowed the Penguins (66 points) to sew up the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the season. The Bruins (57 points), meanwhile, are two points behind the Canadiens (59 points) with five games to play. The Canadiens will play the Capitals Saturday night and will have played 45 games to Boston’s 44 by the end of the day.
Brad Marchand opened the game’s scoring with a power-play goal on a wrist shot that went off Tomas Vokoun and in, but Jussi Jokinen tied the game in the second period by backhanding a rebound past Rask.
The Bruins suffered a pair of injuries in the game, as Nathan Horton was lost for the game after fighting Iginla in the first period and Adam McQuaid was hurt following a second-period hit from Matt Cooke.
The Bruins will host the Panthers Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
- Horton was lost for the game after fighting Jarome Iginla in the first period. The fight was very short-lived, with the two power forwards essentially wrestling one another down, but Horton was spotted favoring his left wrist as he left the ice.
- McQuaid left the game and returned, but his situation is still one to keep an eye on. The defenseman jumped up a bit as Cooke went to deliver a clean hip-check and it left McQuaid down on the ice by the Bruins’ bench as he inched his way off. McQuaid was helped down the tunnel by teammates, but he was back on the bench shortly after and returned to the game. He didn’t look like he was 100 percent, however. McQuaid challenged Cooke in the third period and was declined.
- Both of the Penguins’ third-period goals came on the power play. They allowed the Hurricanes to go 2-for-3 on the power play last Saturday and the Sabres were 4-of-6 on the man advantage Wednesday, making Saturday’s contest the third straight game in which the B’s have allowed two power play goals.
- Carl Soderberg didn’t have the strongest showing in his NHL debut, which was to be expected given that he has played on the bigger ice surfaces in Europe for his entire professional career. Soderberg finished the game with a minus-1 rating (he was on the ice for Jokinen’s goal) and no shots on goal. Soderberg did get some power play time, though nothing came of it as he was not on the unit that yielded Marchand’s goal).
- Zdeno Chara ended up in the box again for coming to the aid of a teammate, as he was called for roughing when he went after Cooke following the hit on McQuaid. Considering Cooke’s hit was clean, an answer wasn’t necessary. Of course, one can’t blame Chara for seeing his teammate down after a hit from someone with Cooke’s reputation and thinking otherwise.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
- With the lines in flux (Milan Lucic was a healthy scratch as Claude Julien continues to tinker with the lineup), the familiar line of Patrice Bergeron between Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin was as once again strong. Bergeron had a superb showing at the faceoff dot, winning 18 of 26 draws, while the line landed 16 shots on net (six for Seguin and four apiece for Bergeron and Marchand).
- With Horton out, Rich Peverley took his place on Krejci’s line, as he has in the last two seasons. The trio of Krejci between Gregory Campbell and Peverley had a strong second period and generated multiple scoring opportunities on a mid-second period shift.
|Jarome Iginla coming to Boston after spurning Bruins||04.18.13 at 5:42 pm ET|
It isn’t the way that people may have expected at around 10:30 p.m. on March 27, but Jarome Iginla is coming to Boston.
Just over three weeks after squashing a trade to the Bruins, Iginla will take the Garden ice Friday with the Penguins, the team he told Flames general manager Jay Feaster to deal him to after Feaster had told the Bruins they had the player.
The story is ancient history by now: Iginla, in the final year of his deal, told the Flames he would waive his no-trade clause for the Bruins, Penguins, Kings or Blackhawks. The Bruins submitted an offer of Alexander Khokhlachev, Matt Bartkowski and their first-round pick this year, and Feaster told Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli around noon of the 27th that the deal was done. Both sides scratched their players that night, but Iginla told Feaster he’d only go to the Penguins. Feaster avoided Chiarelli’s calls throughout the day, finally calling him back to say that Iginla wanted to be a Penguin and that the Flames were forced to make a deal with them.
So how do you think he’ll be accepted Friday?
“I’m sure the fans are going to be all over him,” Milan Lucic said Thursday. “I think it will just increase this rivalry that is kind of increasing as this season’s gone on.”
Yet as fired up as the fans may be to give Iginla a hard time, the Bruins say there are no hard feelings. There should be obvious motivation to prove Iginla’s decision wrong, but the B’s insist they weren’t offended by the veteran power forward’s refusal to play in Boston.
“We’ve put that behind us,” Brad Marchand said. “We can’t let that affect us. We can’t let that determine how we’re going to play tomorrow. He felt that they have a good team, and they do. They’ve got some great players over there. That’s fine. That’s his decision. We can’t hold that against him. He’s got a certain level of respect that he’s owed. He’s played a long time in this league, and for him to make that decision, that’s fine. We’re not going to judge him for that. It’s not going to alter or determine how we play tomorrow.”
Marchand said the whole ordeal was made easier by the acquisition of Jaromir Jagr, a former Penguin himself who adds his own twist to the rivalry. Jagr has seven points (one goal, six assists) in seven games for the Bruins, while Iginla has two goals and four assists for six points through eight games for Pittsburgh.
“The team did a great job at bouncing back and getting another great player. He’s one of the best players to ever play the game,” Marchand said. “'¦ We’re lucky to have Jags here.”
Not only did Jagr not think the Stars would trade him, but he too thought that Iginla was a Bruin when reports of the deal began surfacing. He played 11 seasons as a Penguin and ruffled feathers when he opted to sign with the rival Flyers rather than going to where he began his career when he returned to the NHL prior to last season. Between being the consolation prize in the Iginla derby and his history with Pittsburgh, there should be plenty of reasons for him get up for Friday’s game. He has another in mind.
“They’re first in our conference,” Jagr said. “Maybe we’re going to meet them in the playoffs, so we have to do our best to show them that we can play against them.”
|Claude Julien: Jaromir Jagr is ‘coming to help us, he’s not coming to save us’||04.02.13 at 11:15 pm ET|
Clearly, the Bruins felt a positive buzz from the acquisition earlier in the day of Czech superstar and future hockey hall of famer Jaromir Jagr. The Bruins went out, fired 50 shots on net and beat the Senators, 3-2, at TD Garden.
But Bruins coach Claude Julien made it very clear that he’s not expecting the 41-year-old player to save the Bruins, just help them, much in the same way Mark Recchi helped Boston to a Stanley Cup in 2011.
“Well, there's no doubt he's going to help us,” Julien said. “And I think that's the key word, he's coming to help us, he's not coming to save us. That's what people have to understand. He's a great player, and he still is a great player, but at the same time, if we expect to watch him do the work we're not going to be going anywhere.
“We need our team to play better and he's certainly going to help our team be better. I like the acquisition ' a big strong guy, he's hard to knock off the puck around the net area, in the corner; he does a great job. To me, he seems to suit our needs and what we're all about. Again, I know he's happy to come here and we'll certainly be happy to have him in our lineup because he's going to help in a lot of areas.” Read the rest of this entry »
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