|Nathan Horton not as advertised, much to the Bruins’ delight||10.28.10 at 11:46 pm ET|
Nathan Horton has been soaking in each second of Boston and his new fanbase. His excitement to be in town has matched the Bruins’ fans excitement to have a true goal-scoring threat. Horton proved he can do more than score on Thursday, as he dropped the gloves with Dion Phaneuf in the second period of the team’s 2-0 win over the Leafs in front of a wild, sold-out TD Garden crowd. It was his first fight since the 2008 preseason.
“We kind of had a little battle going throughout the game up top, and [I figured I'd] maybe just try and put an end to it in the game,” Horton said after the game.
The two players exchanged blows as they tumbled to the ice, but it was only Horton who picked up a 10 minute misconduct in addition to his fighting major. Claude Julien disagreed with the call.
“I still don’t understand how he gets the 10 minutes,” Julien said. “We all saw Phaneuf punched him when he was on the ground.”
All in all, the fight served as yet another reminder positive reminder that the first-line winger, whose work ethic was called into question prior the June trade that send him to the Bruins, has not totally come as advertised. The former No. 3 overall pick received criticism for taking shifts off in his time as a Panther, but any traces of laziness and frustration are two characteristics he hasn’t displayed in Boston.
“I’m trying,” Horton said. “I want to show that I want to be here. I want to be a part of the team, and I want to have success here and be successful with my team. I can’t say it enough. Every day that I come to the rink, it’s been great.”
|Bruins see improvement in Maple Leafs||10.27.10 at 3:57 pm ET|
The Bruins are preparing for their first match-up against the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night, in an always-anticipated clash of original six teams. In the 2009-10 season, the Maple Leafs were nothing special, finishing at the bottom of the Northeast Division with a 30-38-14 record. Now, eight games into 2010-11, it seems the Leafs have turned things around. Toronto won its first four starts, then dropped three games in a row before picking up a 3-1 victory over the Panthers Tuesday night. The Leafs’ 5-2-1 record currently has them sitting atop the division standings.
“They’re a good team, they’re a young team,” Patrice Bergeron said after practice on Wednesday. “Their players have developed into good players so I think that’s why they’re improved.”
Right wing Nathan Horton said he knows the Leafs have shown plenty of reasons for other teams to fear them thus far.
“Their defensemen are big, strong, physical, and their forwards are quick and fast,” Horton said, adding the Bruins will need to be prepared to work for 60 minutes on Thursday. Coach Claude Julien seemed to agree, noting that the B’s are “facing a team that’s coming in with lots of confidence, lots of speed and lots of energy.”
Speaking of energy, it has seemed to be just that the B’s have lacked early on in each of their losses this season. On Saturday, the Rangers put up a quick 2-0 lead on the Bruins in the first period, and the Bruins, despite getting goals from Zdeno Chara and Horton, were never quite able to make a full comeback.
“I think it’s just about making sure we have a good first couple shifts and be good on the forecheck right away,” Bergeron said. “If we get scored one goal against, we’ve got to make sure we keep our balance instead of just getting back over our heels for a couple shifts and letting them score another one.”
|Wisdom teeth holds Krejci out of practice||10.25.10 at 12:44 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Johnny Boychuk was expected to be the lone Bruin missing from the team’s Monday practice, so when Daniel Paille was sporting a white first-line jersey in place of an absent David Krejci, the team’s top center suddenly became the topic du jour at Ristuccia Arena.
The reason for Krejci’s absence? The removal of his wisdom teeth. Claude Julien called it a regular maintenance day for the center, so there’s no reason not to expect he’ll be back to skating with the team in short order and will be good to play when the B’s take on the Maple Leafs on Thursday night.
In six games this season, Krejci has a goal and six assists, good for seven points, a total that is second only to linemate Nathan Horton.
|Nathan Horton on D&H: ‘It’s like a family already’||10.22.10 at 1:33 pm ET|
Bruins forward Nathan Horton checked in with the Dale & Holley show Friday to talk about the B’s fast start to the season. Horton has four goals and three assists in five games as the Bruins have gone 4-1-0.
To hear the interview, including Horton’s thoughts on David Krejci and Zdeno Chara, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Horton is enjoying his new team after spending his first six seasons with the Florida Panthers in the Miami area, where hockey obviously does not have the same importance. “This is what every player dreams about playing, just this type of atmosphere, and this city,” he said of Boston. “It’s not like you can imagine. Once you’re there, it’s pretty amazing.”
Horton said no matter where he is, his style remains the same. “You have to perform,” he said. “Even if you’re not putting up points or anything, you have to work hard and be a team guy and just play hard for your teammates. I think that’s what everyone’s trying to do. We like each other as a team. It’s like a family already. Everyone gets along. It’s an unbelievable feeling when you want to come to the rink every day, you’re going to win games, and I think everyone’s having fun.”
Regarding the B’s goaltending situation, Horton said Tuukka Rask has not shown any signs of disappointment despite serving as Tim Thomas‘ backup the last four games. “He’s been great,” Horton said. “He knows he’s a great goaltender. He’s going to get his shot. … He’s still having fun. Nobody can score on him in practice, too.”
|Milan Lucic turns disappointment from last season into fast start||10.20.10 at 6:39 pm ET|
Milan Lucic missed almost a third of the Bruins’ 2009-10 season because of an ankle injury, and scored only nine goals in 50 games played. Now that he’s starting this new season completely healthy, Lucic feels like he may have something to prove.
“Obviously I’m disappointed with how things went last year,” Lucic said after practice Wednesday. “Your main focus of the summer is just to get back and kind of regain that identity I created for myself and, you know, have a little bit of redemption going into the season.”
Off to a pretty good start, Lucic has scored a goal in each of the last three games, a streak he’s achieved for only the second time in his career. The first occurrence was back on Dec. 8-12, 2008.
“I think for me, thus far, I’ve just done a good job getting myself into scoring areas,” he said. “And also a big thing for me …is when I’m moving my feet and skating well, I think that’s what’s creating the most chances for myself.”
Lucic, of course, refused to take full credit for his successes so far this season. “Obviously playing with a great center like [David] Krejci and a scoring threat like [Nathan] Horton makes it easier for myself,” he said. “We’ve been able to find some chemistry here early on in the season, but I think the main thing is we just have fun playing with one another. You know, we just have to go out there and keep performing every night.”
It seems to be no coincidence that with the top line clicking like it has, the Bruins have won their last three straight games and outscored their opponents, 10-2.
“All 20 guys are doing their part to help the team get some offense,” Lucic said. “Everyone’s doing a good job back checking and having good sticks and taking away lanes. And I think that’s what’s causing a lot of turnovers for us and we’ve been able to go on the attack.”
The next challenge for the Bruins (3-1) will be translating their road success into their home opener. Lucic says there is definitely excitement to come back home and play in front of home fans, which can sometimes lead to temptation to try and put on a show for the crowd. The key for a home victory, according to Lucic, will be to “just keep doing what we’ve been doing – and that’s keeping things simple and making strong plays.”
Last season, over half of the Bruins’ losses took place on their home ice, which is “inexcusable” to Lucic.
“You play at home 41 times a year,” he said. “You’ve got to make that a hard building to play against. You want teams coming in being like, ‘you know what, I don’t like playing in the Garden.’ And that’s what every team around the league wants to do. They want to establish their building as hard to play against. That’s definitely what we want to get back to doing this year.”
The Bruins will have their first opportunity to do just that in a rematch against the Capitals Thursday night. The puck is set to drop at 7 pm.
|Video: Claude Julien, 10/14/10||10.14.10 at 8:19 pm ET|
Nathan Horton has three goals through two games, but what makes the feat more interesting is the fact that he took just five shots total between the two Prague contests. On Thursday, that stat was brought up to Claude Julien, who noted that if people look hard enough at the good, they can generally “find things that aren’t good enough.”
“If he can score three goals on every five shots, I’ll take it,” Julien said with a smile. “That’s my positive way of looking at it.”
Here’s the video of the Bruins coach’s session with the media on Thursday.
|Welcome back to Wilmington||10.13.10 at 10:28 am ET|
WILMINGTON — It sure isn’t as visually pleasing as Prague’s O2 Arena, but it’s good to be back at Ristuccia Arena for the Bruins’ first practice since returning from Europe.
Prior to the team’s 10:30 skate commencing, there was a bit of an on-ice meeting with 10 Bruins consisting of Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, Johnny Boychuk, Matt Hunwick, Nathan Horton, Tyler Seguin, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, and Tuukka Rask.
Despite skating with the aforementioned first, smaller group, Ference did not skate with the team in practice. Judging by the team’s multi-colored sweaters, here are the forward lines.
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton
Jordan Caron – Patrice Bergeron – Blake Wheeler
Mark Recchi – Tyler Seguin – Michael Ryder/Daniel Paille
Brad Marchand - Gregory Campbell – Shawn Thornton/Brian McGrattan
Dennis Seidenberg left the ice after about half an hour, so Thornton tossed a black jersey on to balance out the defense. Chara was paired with Boychuk, Hunwick was with Mark Stuart, and Thornton skated with Adam McQuaid.
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