Nathan Horton, David Krejci, Johnny Boychuk

Boston’s top line looking tough to stop once again


BOSTON, MA — Last season the Bruins’ top line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Nathan Horton saw more downs than ups. The line was broken up for a bit and later on, Horton was lost to a season-ending concussion.

This season, the trio has been reunited and it’s just like 2011 all over again as all three are clicking with each other. Last night, the trio combined to score their only goal in regulation in a 2-1 shootout win over the Devils. The good news for Bruins fans is that they’re all keeping a level head about things.

“We’ve been playing together for some time now,” Krejci said. “It feels good though. We’re winning, our line’s doing good. That’s what everyone expects from us. We don’t get too high on ourselves. We know that’s what we should do and if we didn’t do that, we didn’t do our job. So far I like what I see from those two guys and I’m trying to help them out as much as I can and they’re trying to help me out. So far, so good.”

Horton, meanwhile, kept his line’s and the team’s success in check.

“They’re great players,” Horton said. “It’s fun for me to play with them. They’re special, just like everyone else on the team. It’s fun to be a part of this and great guys make it a lot of fun.”

If anyone might be viewed as “excited” it’s coach Claude Julien. His enthusiasm about their play, however, stems from them having concerns heading into the season.

“This was a line that had a question mark on it,” Julien said. “One guy hadn’t played in a year [Horton] and the other guy didn’t play at all so far since the beginning of the year [Lucic] and David was the only one having played. Being one of our top lines… We want to be able to rely on those guys. We have and they’ve certainly given us exactly what we need right now.”

With the Bruins atop the Eastern Conference with 11 points and a 5-0-1 record, the more that top line keeps rolling, the more trouble they’ll bring their opponents.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.