Horton 'all set' for Bruins training camp

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Horton 'all set' for Bruins training camp

One of the biggest question marks surrounding this years Bruins team is the health and effectiveness of Nathan Horton. Those questions will start to be answered in the next couple of days as Horton is expected to be back in Boston tomorrow and should be back skating with his Bruins teammates by this weekend.

Horton missed the final 36 games of the regular season and the playoff series against the Washington Capitals after taking a Tom Sestito blindside hit in a late January game against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Bruins right winger suffered his second concussion within an eight month period as a result and was still suffering from concussion-related symptoms in April.

But Horton was cleared medically over the summer prior to the Sept. 15 NHL lockout date, and shouldnt have any limitations when Bruins training camp gets started this weekend.

Hes all set and he has been for some time, said Hortons agent, Paul Krepelka. Hes really looking forward to playing again.

It will be an important season for Horton to remain healthy and productive as hell be an unrestricted free agent following the 2013 NHL season. The 27-year-old Horton should also provide a boost to the Bruins stagnant power play as he led them with six power play strikes last season despite basically missing the second half of the season. In 46 games Horton finished with 17 goals and 32 points. The Bruins will gladly take that kind of production from the 2011 Game 7 playoff hero.

WEEI.com was the first to report that Horton was back on the ice skating over the last four months while preparing for the NHL lockout to mercifully end at some point. Now its time for Horton to take his rightful place alongside linemates David Krejci and Milan Lucic after the Bruins scrambled to replace his vacant spot last season after his concussion.

Bruins admit they 'just weren't ready' to play Isles in shutout loss

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Bruins admit they 'just weren't ready' to play Isles in shutout loss

BOSTON – The Bruins are starting to run out of adjectives and descriptors for these “no-show” performances on home ice.

The Bruins made it twice in two months that they’ve dropped a disappointing dud to one of the Eastern Conference’s worst teams when they came out flat, and never showed any signs of life in a 4-0 loss to the New York Islanders. The lack of effort and pitiful results were particularly disappointing coming off a solid five game stretch where they’d engineered high effort wins over Florida, St. Louis and Philadelphia.

Patrice Bergeron finished a minus-3 on the afternoon, and said in quasi-disgust that he knew five minutes into the game that his team didn’t have “it” on Monday.

“Something that we talked [headed into Monday was] about building from the last few weeks, and how good it felt around the room, I guess, with winning games basically,” said Bergeron. “[The shutout loss] just shows that you have to show up every night and not take things for granted. I think we did [take things for granted] this afternoon.

“It was about finding someone to get us a shift to get us going basically. We had a few good shifts there, and we sustained a little bit of pressure there. But then we just couldn’t keep that for the next lines after going, we couldn’t sustain that or build from that. It was really the whole team throughout the lineup that didn’t show up and, you know, it’s obviously inexcusable, unacceptable.”

Claude Julien mentioned the compacted schedule and potential fatigue playing into the Bruins looking “flat” on Monday against the Islanders, and perhaps that is partially to blame for an uncharacteristically lifeless performance from the Black and Gold. But the B’s essentially did nothing for 60 minutes after not having played for 48 hours dating back to a Saturday afternoon matinee win over the Flyers, so the fatigue excuse is difficult to swallow.

Instead it looked like a Bruins team that thought they were going to roll out the pucks and beat the worst team in the Metro Division that had lost four-of-five games. Instead a defensive zone breakdown led to a Nikolay Kulemin goal midway through the second period, and the Bruins collapsed after that. Josh Bailey tucked a short side goal past a late-reacting Tuukka Rask for a soft serve special allowed by Boston’s ace goaltender, and Kulemin scored again in the second period once the Bruins began cheating at the offensive end of the ice.

To make matters worse, the Bruins showed zero fight or willingness to scratch and claw their way back into the game in the third period. Instead it looked like they quit on two points that could end up being extremely important at the end of the season.

It also looked like the Bruins weren’t ready to play, and that they overlooked the downtrodden Islanders for the second time in as many months.

“Maybe we took them a little lightly, but we just weren’t ready [to play],” said Brad Marchand. “We have to look ourselves in the mirror and all be a little bit better. We all have to be prepared for every game. You can’t look at the guy besides us and think he’s going to do the job. We have to take a little onus on ourselves and all be a little bit better. As a team, again, we have to play the system together and we have to back each other up. We have to play as one unit and we didn’t do that.”

It’s long past the point where the words even matter that the Bruins are uttering after games like Monday afternoon. Instead it’s about results and nothing else, and the B’s were nothing short of putrid in that category against the Islanders with points at a premium this time of year.