BOSTON, MA – Nathan Horton has been a Boston Bruin for three seasons and twice has been to the Stanley Cup Final.
The power forward becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 5, and though he says it's out of his hands, Horton wants to stay in Boston - and his General Manager, Peter Chairelli, wants him to as well.
“I hope so,” said Chiarelli, during his season-ending press conference on Wednesday. “I’ve told him that I’d like him to come back. We’ll see how it goes.”
Horton's time with Boston came after six seasons with the Florida Panthers, in which he did not make any playoff appearances.
Horton, however, quickly showed that he was primed for the bright lights of the Stanley Cup playoffs upon his arrival in Boston prior to the 2010-11 season. He tallied eight goals and nine assists in 21 games during the Bruins’ championship run two years ago, scoring overtime winners in Games Five and Seven against Montreal in the first round, and the winner in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
BostonBruins.com – The Bruins have been in this position before. Two years ago, they returned to TD Garden for Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final, trailing the Vancouver Canucks, three games to two. The Black & Gold came out firing in that game and took down the Canucks, 5-2, forcing a seventh game back in Vancouver, in which they won, 4-0, to take home their first Stanley Cup in 39 years.
Tonight, the Bruins will be trying to conjure up some of that magic once again and force a seventh game at United Center in Chicago on Wednesday night.
“We could all take some experience from that and realize that, to win this game, we’ve got to make sure we leave everything on the ice, we play our best," said Brad Marchand, who scored en route to the Game Six win in 2011. "That’s what we did last time so hopefully we can do the same tomorrow."
“It’s a different team, different situation but we’ve been here before. I think we have a bit of confidence but, at the same time, they’re a very resilient team. They’ve played great so far. They played good last time they were in our building so we’ve got to make sure we realize that and we don’t take it for granted.”
BostonBruins.com – The Stanley Cup will be at TD Garden on Monday night. But the Bruins will have to prevent it from being handed out to the Chicago Blackhawks on their home ice. The Black & Gold suffered their second consecutive loss of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night, a 3-1 defeat to the Blackhawks in Game Five at the United Center.
The Bruins made a strong push in the first half of the third period, cutting the Blackhawks lead to 2-1 on a bomb from Zdeno Chara, but it wasn’t enough. Patrick Kane scored two goals to lead Chicago and Dave Bolland added an empty-netter with 14 seconds remaining to seal the game.
Things were made tougher for the Bruins when they lost Patrice Bergeron early in the second period. The B’s alternate captain played just two shifts in the middle frame and did not return at the start of the third period. He was later transported to a local hospital for observation.
After the game, B’s Head Coach Claude Julien had no information on Bergeron’s condition.
“I remember my first training camp my first year a couple years ago,” Seguin recalled. “When I walked in at probably a buck-80 [180 pounds], I could do pull-ups like nothing because I was so light, probably 25 [of them]. I thought I was the best on the team.
“Then Zee [Zdeno Chara] came up and, who knows how much he weighs – two-something. He went up and beat me by five or 10. I was blown away. It just really shows the strength of him and the work ethic he has.”
That commitment, power, and leadership is what has made Chara into one of, if not the best defenseman in the NHL. It is also why not many expect a repeat performance of Game Four of the Stanley Cup Final.
BostonBruins.com – The Bruins hit the ice this morning at United Center for their pre-game skate, in preparation for a crucial Game Five of the Stanley Cup Final. During Friday’s practice back in Boston, Carl Soderberg took the spot of Kaspars Daugavins on the fourth line, alongside Rich Peverley and Shawn Thornton.
Today, at the Bruins pre-game skate, Daugavins took the first rush with the fourth line, but alternated with Soderberg. B’s Head Coach Claude Julien would not commit to a final lineup.
“Why? Because I'm the coach, and because I can,” said Julien, when asked why he has tinkered with the fourth line. “You guys ask me why I make those changes. I didn't spend three days thinking about that. It's a situation that I can do. If I do that tonight, we'll see where it goes.
“I may just go back to Daugavins, because, again, I'm tinkering between those two, like I have from the beginning of the series.”
Soderberg played just six games during the regular season, which is why, Julien said, the native of Sweden has not seen any game action during the playoffs. But with the season-ending injury to Gregory Campbell in Game Three against Pittsburgh, a spot opened up.
BostonBruins.com – Defense will be number one on the list of priorities for the Bruins in Game Five against the Blackhawks tonight. The B’s had numerous breakdowns in their own end in Game Four – allowing a playoff-high six goals – and could not contain Chicago’s top-end offensive talent.
Patrick Kane tallied a goal and an assist, Jonathan Toews potted just his second goal of the playoffs, and Patrick Sharp also scored.
The Bruins aren’t too concerned about the defensive lapses as they prepare for Game Five. They feel that many of the mistakes they made in Game Four are easily correctable.
“I feel fine with it,” said forward Tyler Seguin of the team’s defensive game plan. “I think that we are a very consistent team in our D zone, so I think [Wendesday] night wasn't a night to remember in that part.
“But we’re a team that can definitely bounce back, and a team that, again, we’re successful when we’re staying at an even keel after wins or losses. We’re learning from it. We did video [Thursday] morning, and now were moving on.”
“Obviously it's a brand new series and its always hard to win on away ice. We want to come out a lot stronger than we did last time,” said forward Tyler Seguin, who stopped to talk to the media while signing autographs at the Bruins’ fan sendoff at TD Garden Friday morning.
“It’s tough, but we know we can do it,” added captain Zdeno Chara of the series returning back to Chicago tied 2-2. “We have a good enough team. We just have to be ready. It’s going to be a battle.”
Having already won a game in Chicago (a 2-1 win in Game Two), the Bruins know what it takes to play well in hostile territory.
BOSTON, MA – Before heading off to the airport to fly to Chicago for Game Five of the Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins practiced this morning at TD Garden. The B’s went through a fast-paced session that lasted for about 45 minutes.
The lineup remained the same, with the exception of the fourth line. Carl Soderberg replaced Kaspars Daugavins on the left wing, alongside Rich Peverley and Shawn Thornton. Daugavins returned to the group of extra forwards (Jay Pandolfo and Jordan Caron) that he had been skating with prior to entering the lineup following Gregory Campbell’s season-ending injury in Game Three against Pittsburgh.
Soderberg, talking during the B’s sendoff celebration at TD Garden, said he has not been informed that he will in the lineup for Game Five.
“Obviously I was on that [fourth] line [during practice], but I haven’t talked to Coach [Claude Julien] yet, so I don’t know what’s happening tomorrow,” said Soderberg.
BOSTON, MA – The Bruins have already bounced back from a tough overtime defeat in this Stanley Cup Final. After a deflating triple overtime loss in Game One of the Final, the Black & Gold rebounded, winning two straight to take the lead in the best-of-seven series. Now, after losing a 6-5 thriller in extra time in Game Four on Wednesday night at TD Garden, the Bruins must regroup and find a way to do it again.
“I said it last night, you move on. It's one loss. We've got two wins, we've got two losses. It's about preparing for the next game, and our mood is fine,” said B’s Head Coach Claude Julien, who met with the media at TD Garden Thursday afternoon.
“Who wouldn't be happy to be in the Stanley Cup Finals? You've got to remember where we are and what's at stake here, and certainly not hang your head over a loss. Last time I looked it was an overtime loss, so it's not like we didn't play well, but it's not like we were pushed out of a game here. We had a chance to win that anyways.”
BostonBruins.com – The Bruins have a chance to take a 3-1 series lead over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game Four of the Stanley Cup Final tonight at TD Garden. But even though the B’s have seemingly shutdown the Blackhawks’ offense over the past five periods of action, they are staying focused on the task at hand - Game Four.
“We’ve been in this position before this year in the playoffs and you’ve got to go out there and play on your toes and play to win,” said Milan Lucic of how the Bruins are preparing for Game Four. “You got to approach it the same way the Hawks are going to approach it and that’s play to win and it’s the Stanley Cup Final. There’s no gimmes – I know we are up 2 to 1 – but there’s no reason to be overconfident about anything right now because, as the series goes on, it gets tougher and tougher. The series is long from over.”
Lucic expects the Blackhawks to be raring to go in an effort to head back to Chicago with the Cup Final tied at two. As a result, No. 17 believes Game Four is a pivotal game of the series.
“I think, as every series goes along, every game gets bigger and bigger and we know what this game means for them and we know what this game means for us,” he said. “Lots to look forward to, they are going to bring their best and we need to bring ours.”