Notes: Horton travels to Vancouver with Bruins


Notes: Horton travels to Vancouver with Bruins

By JoeHaggerty Bruins Insider Follow@hackswithhaggs
VANCOUVER There is little doubt Nathan Horton has been an inspiration to the Bruins since going down with a severe concussion in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

The affable, ever-smiling right winger is a favorite of his teammates in the Bs dressing room and he was their Game 7 hero when he potted the winning goals against both the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lighting during Bostons playoff run.

There were a lot of smiles when Horton appeared on the TD Garden jumbotron during Game 6, waving yellow Bruins towels in both hands, and even more when it was learned he had hopped on the Bs team charter and was traveling to Vancouver for the decisive Game 7 against the Canucks.

There were rumblings from Rogers SportsNet that Horton was trying to convince the Bruins to let him play on Wednesday night but theres no shot of that, given the right wing was still suffering concussion symptoms just prior to Game 6 in Boston. His attitude is more about continuing to be a part of the Bruins as they attempt to finish off the job that Horton helped them start. It's also about potentially participating in the celebration if the Bruins are able to win at Rogers Arena.

The Bruins will set up Hortons equipment and sweater in his dressing room stall as he if was going to play.

That's something the guys wanted to do, said coach Claude Julien. They wanted him to be part of our group here. Until the third game of the Final, he was a big contributor to our hockey club. If the doctors would let him, he would play Wednesday and we all know that that's the way he feels right now. He would be willing to play through what he's gone through.

Though Horton can't play, his teammates will certainly include their fallen No. 1 right wing in everything leading up to the game.

It is special, said Julien. He certainly wanted to be here. We wanted him on this trip. As you know, when you get this far, you're a pretty close-knit group. Our guys wanted everybody here and they've got it."

The Bruins also plan to send out some positive vibes to Marc Savard, who also had a great deal to do with whats been built in Boston over the last four years.

Marc is probably the only one right now that's not here and his health varies from day to day, week to week," Julien said. "He's still in our thoughts and he's part of our hockey club as well. We've got a lot of guys that are part of this and some of them are here and one of 'em isn't.

Horton was clearly emotional during Game 6 when he was put up on the TD Garden jumbotron amid huge applause from Bruins fans, and perhaps thats what has No. 18 trying to talk his way into playing.

That isnt going to be happen, but it wont stop from potentially being a smiling part of history when things unfold in Game 7.

Vancouver GM Mike Gillis was clearly not happy about the lack of a penalty or suspension given to Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk after his collision with Mason Raymond that left the Canucks winger out for Game 7 with a compressed vertebrae injury.

Things looked scary as Raymond was wobbly and basically carried off the ice after laying face down for a long stretch. Gillis contends that the puck was nowhere near either player, making it a punishable hit.

Replays were inconclusive and the NHL said in an e-mail that it amounted to an awkward collision that didnt merit suspensions or penalties.

I haven't had any discussion with the league after last night. All I can tell you is my observations of the hit, said Gillis. I didn't see the puck around him. I thought Boychuk used a can opener and drove him into the boards with enough force to break his back. That's what I saw. I don't have much more to say about that other than that observation.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch


Spooner responds positively to healthy scratch

BOSTON -- It wasn’t perfect by any means, but Saturday night represented a step in a positive direction for Ryan Spooner.

The 24-year-old speedy forward was scratched for the home opener against New Jersey in classic message-sending fashion by Bruins coach Claude Julien, and deserved it based on a passive lack of production combined with some costly mistakes as well. So he stayed quiet, put in the work and then returned to the lineup Saturday vs. the Montreal Canadiens where he scored a power play goal in the 4-2 loss to the Habs at TD Garden.

“He was better,” agreed Claude Julien. “He was better tonight.”

Spooner could have had even more as he got a couple of great scoring chances in the first period vs. Montreal, but Carey Price was able to turn away a couple of free looks at the Montreal net. So the Bruins forward felt he possibly left points on the ice after it was all said and done, but also clearly played his best game of the young season after going from the press box back to the lineup.

“Yeah, I had like maybe four or five [chances] that I could have scored on,” said Spooner. “I’ve just got to bear down on those [scoring opportunities], and a lot [of them] in the first period. It’s good that I’m getting those looks, but I have to score on them.

“I’m just going to go out there and just try to play. I can’t really think about [fighting to hold a spot]. I’ve just got to go out there and try to play, I guess, the game I can and try to use the speed that I have.”

The Spooner power play strike was a nifty one with the shifty forward and David Backes connecting on a pass across the front of the net, and the young B’s forward showing the necessary assertiveness cutting to the net from his half-wall position.

Spooner had five shot attempts overall in the game, and was one of the few Bruins players really getting the chances they wanted against a pretty effective Montreal defensive group. Now it’s a matter of Spooner, along with linemates Backes and David Krejci, scoring during 5-on-5 play and giving the Bruins a little more offensive balance after riding Boston’s top line very hard during the regular season’s first couple of weeks. 

Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils


Sunday, Oct. 23: Hall fitting in with Devils

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while waiting to find out which Walking Dead character got brained by Lucille in last season’s cliffhanger. I’m going with Abraham.

*The SI roundtable talks about the future of Jacob Trouba, and where he’ll end up going when his current situation resolves itself.

*P.K. Subban is apparently getting very comfortable in Nashville, and enjoying life in a city with NFL football.

*Fun conversation between Yahoo’s Josh Cooper and Brad Marchand about a whole range of random topics.

*A cool father-son story where they became the goaltending tandem for the Ontario Reign through a series of dominoes falling after Jonathan Quick went down with injury for the Los Angeles Kings.

*Pro Hockey Talk has Taylor Hall serving as exactly what the New Jersey Devils have needed for the last couple of years.

*For something completely different: FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dan Shaughnessy says that the MLB playoffs couldn’t have played out any worse for the Boston Red Sox.