|Practice notes: Mark Recchi stops by, Adam McQuaid ‘symptom-free’||10.26.11 at 1:48 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Adam McQuaid was declared “symptom-free” by head coach Claude Julien after the defenseman once again. He will be a game-time decision when the Bruins play the first game of a home-and-home against the struggling Canadiens on Thursday.
McQuaid has played in only three games this season, missing the season-opener with an illness and being held out of the last four games with a neck injury that the team had been treating as a concussion.
Some other notes from practice:
- Retired forward Mark Recchi was in the house at Ristuccia Arena, sitting up top with management as he watched his former team prepare for the Habs. No word on how he feels about Max Pacioretty‘s wrist injury.
- Julien said his move to switch Rich Peverley and Nathan Horton was done in an effort to create a little more depth and a little more production. Peverley got off to a good start this season when skating with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, so getting that line going would be big for the B’s. Marchand has been held without a point in the last four games, and said after practice that if he can get going, as an energy player he can create a ripple effect on the rest of the team.
Krejci said he hasn’t liked the start he’s gotten off to, so the move to have Horton with he and Benoit Pouliot isn’t all about just getting Horton going.
- Speaking of Marchand, he and the other players to visit Children’s Hospital Tuesday weighed in on the experience and their costumes. The best line came from Marchand, who said there was a child who honestly thought Zdeno Chara was dressed as an alien in his bunny costume. Marchand was Prince Charming, and asked why he wasn’t Aladdin for the sake of skipping out on a shirt, said that Adam McQuaid‘s Fred Flinstone costume was too similar.
- Some of our friends in the Montreal media are in town already, with one asking Chara about potentially playing against Pacioretty if he is indeed healthy enough to go in one of the upcoming games. Chara responded by saying, “I’m just happy to play the game.”
- The Bruins worked on the shootout late in practice, with Horton providing perhaps the prettiest of goals when he beat Tim Thomas glove-side.
- Tyler Seguin broke a pane of glass with a wrist-shot in practice. That’s a heck of a shot when it’s on net.
|Nathan Horton says he thought Tim Gleason wanted to fight, reflects on disappointing start||10.19.11 at 3:48 pm ET|
Nathan Horton did not speak to the media after his roughing double-minor with 8:30 remaining in a one-goal game essentially secured a Bruins’ loss against the Hurricanes Tuesday night. On Wednesday, Horton faced both the media and a sign from his coach that his slow start needs to end quickly.
After skating on the second line in practice for the first time all season (click here to see the Bruins’ revamped lines, which featured a demotion for Horton and a jump to the first line for Chris Kelly), Horton shed light on Tuesday’s incident in which he continuously punched Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason, who had declined to fight.
Though Gleason, who had slashed Horton, kept his gloves on and did not engage Horton after his challenge, the Bruins’ right wing said Wednesday that he was unaware the Hurricanes defenseman did not want to go.
“I thought he wanted to fight,” Horton said. “I turned around and waited for him. He kept acting like he was going to, but it was not the right time. I know that. It was just a little frustration, I guess.”
Added Horton: “I don’t know what [Gleason] was thinking. I just thought he wanted to [fight] because he turned around and slashed me. I turned around and he was right there. He was looking at me the whole time, and I thought he nodded his head. It’s my fault. Obviously I can’t be taking penalties like that, especially after we just scored.”
Losing his cool Tuesday hasn’t been the only bad thing to happen to Horton this season. An incredibly strong starter last season (he led the B’s with nine points through six games), Horton has just two points through six contests this season, a goal and an assist.
“It’s not something where I want to be, or as a team, not playing the way we can. We just need to get back to playing the way we can, especially myself, playing the way I can.”
The type of play to which Horton is likely referring is that of a power forward, as he displayed at points last season. One knock on Horton throughout his entire career has been his tendency to disappear for games at a time, and motivation was something with which he struggled as a member of the Panthers prior to coming to Boston.
Both Horton and the Bruins, who are now 2-4-0 on the season, seemed to be turning a corner on Saturday when the 26-year-old scored the game-tying goal, his first tally of the season, in a game the B’s would eventually win in a shootout against the Blackhawks. In a season in which positive signs have been scarce, the Bruins were unable to build any momentum from the win, as they suffered a 4-1 loss to the Hurricanes that got out of hand late.
“You can always think that way, but until you actually do it, it doesn’t matter,” Horton said of taking the Chicago win as a positive step. “Obviously, we got back to playing the way that we were before that, and it’s not going to work. As you can see, we didn’t win.”
All of Horton’s struggles and the team’s frustrations coincided in ugly fashion when Horton took his costly penalty late in the game.
“We’re not scoring, me personally or the team,” Horton said. “We’re not playing how we want to play. It’s just a little bit of frustration there. It was a bad time, obviously. I didn’t mean to hurt my team there, but that’s the way it happened and I can’t change it now.”
With new lines and three tough home games coming up against the Maple Leafs, Sharks and Canadiens, Horton and the B’s have to hope at this point that there’s nowhere to go but up. As such, Horton expressed no frustration with the fact that he was demoted and taken off Milan Lucic‘s line.
“I think there definitely comes a time when you have to change it,” he said. “[Claude Julien]‘s been overly patient with us, and we definitely need to start turning things around now.
|Five stats on the Bruins through five games||10.17.11 at 6:28 pm ET|
Five games into last season, one could hardly tell the Bruins were going to be Stanley Cup champions, but a couple of things were apparent. For starters, it was clear that Tim Thomas was capable of playing at a high level again after his offseason hip surgery, and it seemed that Nathan Horton had it in him to play some big games for the B’s.
Now five games into this season, there are a few things that are apparent about this team, though injuries to the likes of David Krejci and Adam McQuaid have made it tough to effectively gauge some things.
The Bruins started off the season in a 1-3-0 funk, but may be coming out of it after their 3-2 shootout victory over the Blackhawks Saturday in Chicago. Up next is a four-game home stand with the Hurricanes, Maple Leafs, Sharks and Canadiens coming to town.
“I feel we’re turning the corner here,” coach Claude Julien said Monday of the team after five games. “I liked our game in Chicago, the way we progressed through tut the day. Today in practice we seemed to have a much better pace. Hopefully that’s a good sign of us turning the corner.”
Here are five quick stats on the Bruins through five games, with a look at last season as well.
1. Tyler Seguin leads the Bruins with five points, which is a little less than a quarter of his 22 points from all of last season. He also leads the team with a plus-3 rating and has 16 shots on goal, good for tops amongst forwards and second only to defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.
2. Last season, Horton led the team with seven points through five games. This season, he has a goal and an assist through five contests, struggling mightily in the first few games of the season before seemingly finding himself of late. Bottom-six forwards Gregory Campbell, Chris Kelly and Jordan Caron (who has only played in three games) are the only Bruins’ forwards with less than his five shots on goal.
3. Thomas has won two and lost two this season, allowing eight goals in four games. Five games into last season, Thomas had allowed three goals in four games, and had won all four of his starts. He picked up his first shutout in the second game of the 2010-11 season and went on to have two more by the end of the month.
4. Bruins were 4-for-19 on the power play through five games last season. This season, they are 1-for-21, as they have not scored on the man advantage since Brad Marchand scored on the team’s first power play of the season.
5. Seidenberg leads the B’s in ice time with an average of 25:26 a night yet also has a minus-2 rating that is tied for worst on the team. Further proof that plus-minus rarely tells the whole story.
|When will Nathan Horton play?||09.23.11 at 1:53 pm ET|
Bruins forward Nathan Horton will be one of two Bruins regulars to have not played either of the Bruins’ first two preseason games. While defenseman Joe Corvo is coming off a tight groin that kept him out of Wednesday’s practice, Horton has not missed a practice since training camp opened.
It would appear, then, that the B’s are easing Horton back into game action a step slower than they are with his teammates. Horton is coming off a concussion and separated shoulder, the latter of which plagued him in the postseason and the former of which ended his postseason.
“I mean, I’m fine right now,” Horton said after skating with non-game players on Friday. “I’m just trying to get used to things. We haven’t had a lot of hitting and stuff. I’m definitely going to get back into action sooner or later, but we’ve still got [4 games after Friday].”
More to come on Horton.
|Zdeno Chara among those not playing in black and white scrimmage||09.20.11 at 3:22 pm ET|
The Bruins said Zdeno Chara was day-to-day after getting hit in the left leg with a shot Monday, and it turns out Tuesday will be a day off for the Bruins’ captain.
Chara is among the group of Bruins players not on the roster for Tuesday night’s black and white scrimmage. Other NHL guys not playing include Nathan Horton, Patrice Bergeron, Shawn Thornton and Chris Kelly.
Here are the rosters for the scrimmage, which will be played this year at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center:
BLACK: Gregory Campbell, Tyler Seguin, Daniel Paille, Andrew Ference, Colby Cohen, Matt Bartkowski, Dennis Seidenberg, Nathan McIver, Steve Kampfer, Zach McKelvie, Rich Peverley, Johnny Boychuk, Kirk MacDonald, Lane MacDermid, Benoit Pouliot, Jamie Tardif, Jamie Arniel, Alexander Khokhlachev, Kyle MacKinnon, Calle Ridderwall, Anton Khudobin, Tim Thomas
WHITE: Joe Corvo, Milan Lucic, Jordan Caron, David Krejci, Jared Knight, Ryan Spooner, Zach Hamill, Dougie Hamilton, Adam McQuaid, Marc Cantin, Carter Camper, Craig Cunningham, Josh Hennessy, Brad Marchand, Chris Clark, Max Sauve, Anthony Camara, Ryan Button, David Warsofsky, Kevan Miller, Michael Hutchinson, Tuukka Rask
|Nathan Horton feels good on first day of camp||09.17.11 at 12:58 pm ET|
Nathan Horton skated on the TD Garden ice Saturday for the first time since Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final, when he suffered a concussion and was carted off on a stretcher. After two hours of practice, he said he felt just fine.
“It definitely feels good,” Horton said. “It feels nice to not have any setbacks, especially today. The first day is always the hardest. I feel good right now, and hopefully I continue to feel good.”
Horton, who was also recovering from a separated shoulder, first returned to the ice last Friday during veterans practice in Wilmington. He said Saturday that he doesn’t have any lingering effects from either injury.
“I wasn’t worried at all,” Horton said. “I just feel like it’s in the past. I haven’t even thought about it. When I’m on the ice or I do the fitness testing, it doesn’t even cross my mind. I just try and do as well as I can and don’t worry about headaches or anything like that.”
This offseason was different for Horton not just because he was recovering from those injuries, but also because it was much shorter than the offseasons he had in Florida, where he never made the playoffs in six seasons.
“It’s fun coming in every year knowing you have a chance to win the Stanley Cup,” Horton said. “That’s what excites me, and I think everyone’s just excited to be back and go for another chance. When you get in the playoffs, like everyone says, it’s a taste you just want to keep getting more of. It was the best experience of my life, obviously, and it was a lot of fun. I just can’t wait to work towards getting back there.”
|Did Nathan Horton’s separated shoulder limit him more than concussion?||09.12.11 at 12:02 pm ET|
BOLTON — One of the more interesting tidbits to emerge from Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli in the days following the Bruins’ Stanley Cup championship was that Nathan Horton, who was shut down after his Game 3 concussion, had also been playing the latter part of the postseason with a separated shoulder.
On Monday, Horton talked about the shoulder for the first time of the preseason, saying that his recovery from the injury was just as big a deal as that of his concussion.
“It definitely was my shoulder too, as well as my concussion,” Horton said. “Now I feel good, I feel a lot better than I did. … We still have another month before the season starts, so I’ll be ready to go.”
Horton added that when he had to take a little longer before beginning workouts, it was because of the shoulder.
“I think so,” Horton said when asked whether the shoulder limited him more in the offseason than the concussion. “For a little bit there, for sure, I could have started a little bit earlier, but I took some time off. I guess that’s what happens during the playoffs, right? The season’s so long. Everyone battled through a lot of different injuries. I guess that’s what it’s all about. You want to do that, you want to be able to battle through. In the end, that’s all that matters. We won the Stanley Cup because of people battling through injuries.”
Horton suffered the injury in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, but it certainly wasn’t the notable thing he did in the Bruins’ 1-0. Horton scored the lone goal of the game, taking a pass from David Krejci and tipping it past Dwayne Roloson in the third period to send the B’s to the Stanley Cup finals. After a hit from Canucks’ defenseman Aaron Rome ended his postseason, he was able to remain around the team to celebrate the team’s championship.
- Madison Square Garden is awful.*
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