Horton aside, B's got lucky with injuries

191545.jpg

Horton aside, B's got lucky with injuries

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

BOSTON The Bruins were largely able to avoid the injury bug in the playoffs until Nathan Hortons severe concussion shook up the forward lines in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed on Friday morning there may be a couple of surgeries in the near future for the players now that the Boston playoff run is over.

Horton missed the final four games due to the concussion, and the Bruins GM said the first line right winger was already playing with a separated shoulder injury suffered earlier in the postseason. Horton popped out his shoulder on the receiving end of a Blair Jones hit midway through the first period that slowed down the winger in Game 7 of the Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

But Horton actually went on to pot the third period game-winner in that Game 7 against the Bolts, and had been soldiering through the Finals before falling victim to an Aaron Rome head shot against the Canucks.

I know Nathan Horton -- before he was hurt with his concussion -- was actually hurt. He had a serious separated shoulder, Chiarelli said. I think you can recall if you go back it was like, it was, he got hit, he had scored the winning goal that game. He got hit on the boards. So he was hurt significantly.

Aside from that Horton shoulder injury, the Bruins will have a few scattered injuries to report once the Bruins players have been lassoed from their Cup celebration and brought in for their final exit interviews and season-ending physicals. Either way, the injury factor was something working in Bostons favor this postseason and clearly played into the successful Cup run in Boston.

I havent had the full report," Chiarelli said. "I have a sense of what the medical report will be just from talking to doctors on a daily basis. We have our guys that are injured. I think well only have one, maybe two surgeries and well get that out there when I get all the information. But weve had our guys dinged up, and all teams do. Like Vancouver did, and Tampa did and Philly did. Montreal did. I think what I can say about the injury front is we were fortunate from that perspective.

When you look back at past winners, I remember the one year Tampa won I think they had like twenty man-games lost due to injury the whole year in the playoffs. You have to have an element of luck. On that front we certainly had some luck.

The news on the surgery front is likely to filter out by the beginning of next week as the Bruins conduct their exit interviews with players and break up the most successful hockey season in Boston in nearly four decades.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Bruins lose third straight with 4-1 loss to Leafs

bruins-patrice-bergeron.jpg

Bruins lose third straight with 4-1 loss to Leafs

BOSTON -- The Bruins’ season has gone in extreme swings both up and down thus far through the first couple of months, and that was the case as they lost their third game in a row to the Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

The Bruins couldn’t only scratch for one goal despite outshooting the Maple Leafs by a 32-20 margin, and fell by a disappointing 4-1 score to the young and talented Toronto club at TD Garden.

The Bruins never enjoyed a lead in the game against the Leafs, and were flirting with danger after failing to score in the first period despite out-shooting Toronto by an 11-2 margin in the game’s opening 20 minutes. Instead it was a David Pastrnak neutral zone turnover in the second period that was picked off by William Nylander, and ended with Auston Matthews firing a rocket over Tuukka Rask for his 12th goal of the season.

Toronto extended the lead with five minutes to go in the period when Zach Hyman tipped a wobbly Jake Gardiner point shot past Rask, and made it three games in a row that the Bruins have dug themselves a considerable hole. Brad Marchand got one goal back at the end of the second period on a nice hustle play as he sealed off Frederik Anderson’s clearing attempt and then stuffed the puck past the Leafs goalie on a second chance bid.

That’s the way the score remained until the third period when the Bruins couldn’t convert on a couple of offensive chances -- included a bang-bang shorthanded bid for Austin Czarnik in front of the net -- and then James van Riemsdyk scored in front as a Toronto power play expired. That was the backbreaker for a Black and Gold bunch that continues to scrap for goals, and has now scored two goals or less in 20 of their 20 games this season.

Connor Brown added an empty netter in the final two minutes of the game to truly put it out of reach for the Bruins. 

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

Heinen looking to show his offense in his shot on Krejci line

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins mixed things up with their roster a bit on Saturday after dropping a couple of games in a row to Washington and Colorado. 

Fourth-line energy winger Noel Acciari and playmaking forward Danton Heinen were called up from Providence and will be in the lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden on Saturday night. 
Acciari went to Providence the past couple of days to get some game action in after missing the past month with a lower body injury, but clearly showed he’s ready to go. 

So, Acciari is back to provide the same hard-hitting and energy he showed before he was hurt and Heinen is looking to show off a little more offense than in his first stint with the Black and Gold this season. He’ll be featured in a top role as left wing with David Krejci and David Backes and with marching orders to shoot the puck like he never shot it in his previous stint in Boston. 

For the Bruins, it’s about getting another look at a candidate to play left wing beside Krejci with both Ryan Spooner and Tim Schaller, with limitations to their respective games, unable to fully grasp that same opportunity. 

“My hope is that Heinen can come in and give us some good hockey. He’s a skill player and he’s been down there for a while, and he’s back up again because he’s been playing well,” said Claude Julien of the Bruins rookie, who had four goals and seven points in his past five games with Providence. “Hopefully he can play well here also. It’s about getting some confidence. When he went down to [the AHL] the pace of his game had to get a little bit better, and in the battles coming up with the puck along the walls. Those are the kinds of things we thought he could work on down in Providence.”

Heinen knows he needs to shoot the puck a bit more to show off his offense after a seven-game stint with the Bruins where he went scoreless, was a minus-2 and had just six shots on net.

“Being hard on the walls, playing fast and shooting the puck, those were all things I was working on [in Providence],” said Heinen, who has seven goals and 13 points in 13 games for the P-Bruins after being assigned to Providence. “I was doing what they told me to do [in Providence] and that’s shoot the puck. They were going in, and I was getting some good opportunities on the power play. It’s seriously tough to get chances [at the NHL level], so you can’t pass them up when you have chances. That was kind of my focus down there.”

Fellow fourth-line energy winger Anton Blidh has been shipped to Providence after three solid games with the Black and Gold. 

Julien said Blidh goes back to Providence having adequately shown that he can play in the NHL. He clearly showed the Bruins that he understands his role as a player that stirs things up a bit and gets his nose dirty on a regular basis.

“[Blidh] was fine. No issues there. He does his job. He plays with lots of energy and obviously he’s getting more experience. He’s a lot better at understanding his positioning within the game and what he has to do,” said Julien. “I thought he helped us out for the time that he was here.”

With Heinen and Acciari both in the lineup and Blidh back in Providence, that means Jimmy Hayes will be scratched after dressing for three of the past four games for Boston.