Author: Joe Yerdon

Nathan Horton

Nathan Horton cleared to play Game 2


Nathan Horton’s Game 1 injury isn’t going to keep him out of Game 2.

The Bruins winger said he’s clear to play and he feels good and ready to go for tonight’s game. Bruins coach Claude Julien elaborated just a bit more on Horton’s status.

“He looks really good. He feels really good. There’s no reason for him not to go,” Julien said.

As you’ll recall, Horton was injured in the first overtime of Game 1 with an apparent shoulder injury. He reportedly has had chronic dislocation problems with the shoulder throughout the playoffs, but he says he’s not in pain now and ready to go. He skated on his usual line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic at this morning’s skate.

If the shoulder has been a consistent issue, it bears watching him to see how he handles what should be another physical game tonight.

TSN may have spoiled tonight’s NHL awards

P.K. Subban #76 of the Montreal Canadiens shoots during warmup before NHL action against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre January 21, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
(January 20, 2012 - Source: Abelimages/Getty Images North America)

We were all tipped off about Montreal’s P.K. Subban winning this year’s Norris Trophy earlier this week, but there’s no way the other big award winners would get leaked early… Right?

On TSN’s Insider Trading segment Bob McKenzie, in speaking about Subban’s reported win, said other players were given a heads-up about who was going to take home what.

“In fact, Subban is the Norris Trophy winner. And now we’re hearing word that Jonathan Huberdeau will be in Chicago on Saturday. You can infer from that that the Florida Panther forward is going to be the rookie of the year.”

Darren Dreger followed that up saying that neither Sidney Crosby nor John Tavares would be in Chicago for the Hart Trophy award tonight and Alex Ovechkin, who is in Russia, would accept the award via video. While that’s not confirmation Ovechkin is going to win it, it’s about as close as it can get.

Meanwhile, Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston says Chicago’s Jonathan Toews kept his Selke Trophy win a tight-knit secret with his family and that award winners have known for a while that they were victorious.

If you’re a fan of suspense, this was not the year for you to have a stake in the NHL awards as the Lindsay Award and Vezina Trophy are the only two left with an element of surprise for the time being.

Playoffs tonight: Can the Bruins answer back in Game 2?

Michael Jordan, Jonathan Toews

Wednesday night’s Game 1 was an incredible thriller. Can Game 2 live up to that hype or are we in store for a tighter game?

Game 2: Chicago Blackhawks host Boston Bruins (8 p.m. ET — NBCSN/Live Extra)
Chicago leads series 1-0

After the triple-overtime epic that was Game 1, the pressure is on the Boston Bruins to see if they can bounce back from such a tough loss. Unfortunately, they head into Game 2 with some looming questions.

The main worry is the health of Nathan Horton. The big forward left Game 1 with an apparent shoulder injury, one that’s reportedly nagged him all playoffs, but after practicing yesterday it looks like he could go. If his issue is a chronic dislocated shoulder, however, that could be a major problem as it can reoccur at any time. (Update: Horton will play Game 2)

That shifts the questions to the play of Tyler Seguin. Seguin has popped off a lot of shots in the postseason and has just one goal to his name. If he’s needed in a larger role tonight, can he be a difference maker? Boston might need him to be that no matter what.

This isn’t all about the Bruins, of course. After taking Game 1, Chicago seemed to be clicking pretty well. They dominated in puck possession and outshot the Bruins by a wide margin. Is there anything that really needs to be adjusted? Coach Joel Quenneville might tell you the power play could use work after it did a miserable job of generating scoring chances in Game 1.

The difference maker tonight, however, could be Corey Crawford who the Blackhawks couldn’t rave over hard enough after Game 1. Throw in captain Jonathan Toews’ endorsement for Crawford to be Team Canada’s goalie at the Olympics and it’s a full-on love fest in the Windy City.

This is where we remind you that Tuukka Rask has been equally outstanding for Boston and we should expect more of the same stellar goaltending we saw in Game 1 from both players.

Former Kings executive says Los Angeles is ‘not a hockey town’

Tim Leiweke

Current Maple Leafs executive Tim Leiweke isn’t doing much to make his old town feel good about hockey.

Leiweke spoke with Leafs TV (as the L.A. Times shares) about his time with the Los Angeles Kings and wasn’t too flattering about the city’s passion for hockey. While talking about the Leafs’ exciting season and run to the playoffs for the first time since 2004, he says he never saw the same kind of passion from fans in L.A. when it came to the Kings.

“We didn’t see that in L.A., and we won the Stanley Cup. We finally saw it at the end. It took us getting to the finals in order to awaken that town. It’s not a hockey town.”

Oddly enough, as Chris Foster of the L.A. Times noted, Leiweke called Kings fans the best in the league just a few years ago. I guess the only thing we’ve learned out of this is that executives are really good at pumping the tires of the fans of the team they’re running.

Report: Kings have talked to 10 teams about Bernier

Jonathan Bernier

It’s been almost a year since Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier has asked to be traded but it looks like he may finally get his wish this summer.’s Pierre LeBrun reported on TSN’s Insider Trading that the Kings and GM Dean Lombardi have reached out to 10 teams about their 24 year-old backup goaltender to get an idea what the market is. Bernier is still a highly regarded young goalie and with Jonathan Quick locked in as the Kings starter for a long time with his huge contract, it’s only logical that the Kings move him to help themselves in other areas.

What teams are interested? Take a look around the league at those who might be in the market for a young starting goalie to build around. Teams like Calgary or the Islanders jump to mind right away as possibilities as they have immediate needs.