Horton forced to leave game after blindside head shot

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Horton forced to leave game after blindside head shot

PHILADELPHIA It seemed as if Nathan Horton had just escaped the fog of last years concussion issues, but now he might be right back in the darkness after a reckless hit from a Flyers thug.

The Bruins right wing was held out of the third period and overtime of Sundays 6-5 shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers after being on the receiving end of a blindside Tom Sestito shoulder to the head. The contact with Horton came in the second period well after the puck had left his possession, and should mean that Sestito playing in his first NHL game since Dec. 23 after being called back up from the minors will be hearing from the league offices in the next few days.

Sestito has already been suspended twice this season: once for two games during the preseason on a hit from behind and another five-game suspension in the AHL for an illegal check to the head of an opponent.

So it sounds like there is plenty of past history with Sestito and the contact with Hortons head one of the six registered hits Sestito collected in 8:36 of ice time for the Flyers.

There was a blindside hit on Horton. The Washington game is two days away, so well see," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "I havent had a chance to talk to our trainers or even get a doctors report to see how severe it is right now. I guess well find out in the next few days here, but certainly the doctors didnt allow him to come back in this game.

Horton responded with anger to the Sestito hit to the head that arrived well behind the play, and he chased after the Philly rabble-rouser before getting whistled off for a roughing call. Both Milan Lucic and Marc-Andre Bourdon got involved in the aftermath, and ultimately the Flyers went on a power play that ended with a Scott Hartnell goal. The Hartnell power play score quickly jump-started a dominant second period for Philadelphia, but it was a sequence that Hortons coach fully understood.

Obviously he got up and took a penalty, but we looked at the replay. When hes been through what he went through last year and it was a blindside hit, I dont blame him for doing his job, said Julien. If I was in his shoes I probably would have done the same thing. Thats our team. We take care of our own stuff. You saw that a couple of times with Kelly getting run over, and getting stood up for by Thornton.

We stick up for each other. Thats what we do. Sometimes that might get us into trouble, but in the long run were a team and we believe in our team concept.

Horton never returned to the game, and Julien said after the game hes a question mark for Tuesdays game against the Capitals that concludes the Bs pre-All-Star break schedule.

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Former Ravens and Jets linebacker - now an "NFL Today" analyst for CBS - Bart Scott usually "can't wait" to make his disdain for Tom Brady and the Patriots known. 

He was back at it Tuesday in an interview with CBS Radio's Damon Amendolara, in which he said the Falcons have the better quarterback heading into Super Bowl LI.

“We know they’re the better offense, and right now, you could say they got the better quarterback because they have the MVP of the league,” Scott said. Ryan is the favorite to win the NFL MVP, which will be announced the night before the Super Bowl at the "NFL Honors" show.

“Now that’s a debate, but Matt Ryan has earned the right for his name to be put up there with the upper-echelon quarterbacks," Scott said. "He’s always been elite in the regular season, but now he’s taken this show into the postseason and he’s won the hard battles against the elite quarterbacks and now you have to give him his due.”

More from Scott: “I can’t see the Patriots stopping this offense. So, that means that these receivers are going to have to [keep] pace. It’s all going to come down to what it always comes down to. It’s going to come down to who makes the turnovers, who gets up early and puts the pressure on the other team. Matt Ryan and that offense showed me a lot when they went behind [in the divisional round against the Seahawks]. Seattle came and busted them in the face, and [Atlanta] went right back down and answered immediately.

"The Patriots always find a way, but I think it makes it more close of a game than what people think.”

Tuesday, Jan. 24: Crosby, Matthews top coaches' poll

Tuesday, Jan. 24: Crosby, Matthews top coaches' poll

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while rooting for “Manchester By the Sea” to upset some favorites at the Oscars.

*Sidney Crosby and Auston Matthews top the annual NHL coaches' poll produced by TSN Insider Bob McKenzie.

*The oral history of Fox’s glowing puck used for the NHL during their run with the league is an entertaining one.

*Mike Babcock gives pep talks to the reporters along with his own players while running the show in Toronto.

*The Vegas Golden Knights are moving forward with their timetable toward hiring a coach with some good candidates out there now, and some other ones potentially available soon. I’ve wondered if Claude Julien would be interested in that spot if he’s let go by the Bruins this season, but the one sure thing is that he wouldn’t be out of work long if he is relieved of his duties.

*Claude Giroux needs to start playing a little more fearlessly and without dwelling on mistakes, according to his general manager.

*Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill doesn’t believe that fancy stats and analytics have had a major impact on the way the Wings do things.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the rundown on a Millenial’s dream of performers at the 2017 NHL All-Star Game: Nick Jonas, Fifth Harmony and Carly Rae Jepsen.

*For something completely different: keeping an eye on the notion that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is going to run for President.