Horton responds to Julien's criticism with two goals

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Horton responds to Julien's criticism with two goals

TAMPA Nathan Horton thinks that maybe sometimes the expectations for him get a little out of control.

After all, the right wing is tied with Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand for the second-highest number of goals on the Bruins, and he feels like hes always skating hard and hustling. But that didnt stop Hortons coach from calling him out after an invisible performance against the Florida Panthers, and imploring that the Bruins need more out of him.

Perhaps Claude Julien has a future in motivational speaking along the lines of Matt Foley because Horton responded to the pointed remarks with a pair of goals in Bostons 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Both scores came from Horton attacking the area around the net. The first was simple tenacity going toward the net following his own shot, and the second was a sniper shot from the high slot area after tracking down an Andrew Ference shot blocked by defenders.

The winger said after the game he wasnt inspired by his coachs challenge, and instead it was about supporting his teammates in a time of need. With Rich Peverley and Brad Marchand out of commission the Bs needed some ascension to Hortons game, and they got it. His team-high six shots on net showed a commitment to creating much more offense than the three total shots attempted in the previous three games.

The two goals were red light proof of that, but dont ever confuse Horton with Wayne Gretzky.

Julien is the coach and he can say whatever he wants. I dont want to comment on that, said Horton. Im here for my teammates and obviously I want to be good for them. I think thats all that matters. I just want to keep working hard and things are going to come.

I definitely need to get shots on net more. Im not Wayne Gretzky. Sometimes people think I am. I want to do the best I can and Im out there trying. Whether its back-checking or just working hard I just always want to be myself. I do need to get my shots off and get more than one or two . . . thats something I need to work on.

While Hortons coach was happy with his forwards offensive exploits, the line of Horton along with David Krejci and Milan Lucic have given up five goals to the opposition over the last two games. Thats a losing balance their line needs to rectify.

Work around the net is his strength. Hes one of those guys that when he takes it to the net hes a big strong guy, he stays on the puck and hes going to score some goals, said Julien. He gave us some good offense, but its unfortunate in a way because their line gave up three tonight. Theyve been on for five goals in the last two games and were certainly looking for more out of that line.

Bruins assign Noel Acciari to Providence

Bruins assign Noel Acciari to Providence

After sitting out the last month with a lower body injury, Bruins fourth liner Noel Acciari has been assigned to Providence presumably to get up to speed after missing a considerable length of time. It also means that Acciari has likely been cleared medically to play after appearing in B's practice over the last few days after missing the last 14 games. 

The 24-year-old former Providence College standout has appeared in 12 games with the Bruins this season after breaking camp with the team, and recorded two assists for two points with four penalty minutes and a plus-one rating before suffering a lower body injury.

By all accounts Acciari was a good energy player on a surprisingly good fourth line to start the season, wasn’t afraid to throw around his body for impactful hits and was having plenty of success aggravating opponents into losing their cool and taking penalties. Fellow rookie forward Anton Blidh has stepped in and played a similar role on the fourth line over the last couple of games for the Black and Gold, so that gives the Bruins plenty of time to get Acciari back up to speed at the AHL level without their fourth line’s level of play dropping in the meantime.

The Acciari demotion to Providence does mean that the Bruins head into Washington with 12 forwards, so it should again be Blidh, Dominic Moore and Jimmy Hayes as the fourth line barring any last minute wrinkles from Claude Julien. 

Are Patriots still 'pissed off' at Ravens for Deflategate role?

Are Patriots still 'pissed off' at Ravens for Deflategate role?

The Patriots should always be motivated heading into games against the Ravens. After all, Baltimore might be the team’s primary rival. 

Yet Monday’s matchup might be about more than past meetings. It could be a revenge game for the Ravens’ role in the Deflategate fiasco. 

As Tom E. Curran notes in the above video, the then-recently eliminated Ravens set off the ordeal when they tipped off the Colts entering the 2014 AFC Championship game. From there, the year-and-a-half-long saga played itself out, ultimately resulting in Tom Brady accepting a four-game suspension from the league. 

Curran and Mike Giardi discussed whether Monday could be a revenge game, with them both concluding that they feel the Patriots are still “pissed off” at the Ravens. 

"I’m just reading the tea leaves,” Curran said. “Bill Belichick will usually throw bouquet after bouquet at the Baltimore Ravens any time they play, from Ozzie Newsome, to George Kokinis, to Eric DeCosta, to John Harbaugh, Dean Pees, everyone. Not a lot of that today. Make of that what you will; I don’t think it’s a coincidence because I do know that when the Patriots were going through the process early on, the fact that the Ravens had dropped a dime -- their assistant special teams coach Jerry Rosburg calling the Indianapolis Colts and saying, “Look there was some foolishness going on with the K balls.’

“Additionally, when that email from the Colts to the NFL was sent to Mike Kensil, it said, 'It’s well-known throughout the league that the Patriots screw with the balls after they’ve been checked by the officials.' So if that conversation was going on during the week between those two teams, one certainly has to surmise that they also spoke about the fact of deflating footballs. 

“So as much as John Harbaugh has tried to dissuade anyone from thinking there was involvement, Dean Pees was interviewed by Ted Wells, Jerry Rosburg was interviewed by Ted Wells. Those are the only two principals from other organizations who were involved, so yeah, I think they’re still probably pretty pissed off about it.”