BOSTON – The Bruins were largely able to avoid the injury bug in the playoffs until Nathan Horton’s “severe concussion” shook up the forward lines in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed on Friday morning there may be a couple of surgeries in the near future for the players now that the Boston playoff run is over.
Horton missed the final four games due to the concussion, and the Bruins GM said the first line right winger was already playing with a separated shoulder injury suffered earlier in the postseason. Horton popped out his shoulder on the receiving end of a Blair Jones hit midway through the first period that slowed down the winger in Game 7 of the Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
But Horton actually went on to pot the third period game-winner in that Game 7 against the Bolts, and had been soldiering through the Finals before falling victim to an Aaron Rome head shot against the Canucks.
“I know Nathan [Horton] -- before he was hurt with his concussion -- was actually hurt. He had a serious separated shoulder,” Chiarelli said. “I think you can recall if you go back it was like, it was, he got hit, he had scored the winning goal that game. He got hit on the boards. So he was hurt significantly.”
Aside from that Horton shoulder injury, the Bruins will have a few scattered injuries to report once the Bruins players have been lassoed from their Cup celebration and brought in for their final exit interviews and season-ending physicals. Either way, the injury factor was something working in Boston’s favor this postseason – and clearly played into the successful Cup run in Boston.
“I haven’t had the full report," Chiarelli said. "I have a sense of what the medical report will be just from talking to doctors on a daily basis. We have our guys [that are injured]. I think we’ll only have one, maybe two surgeries and we’ll get that out there when I get all the information. But we’ve had our guys dinged up, and all teams do. Like Vancouver did, and Tampa did and Philly did. Montreal did. I think what I can say about the injury front is we were fortunate from that perspective.
“When you look back at past winners, I remember the one year Tampa won I think they had like twenty man-games lost due to injury the whole year in the playoffs. You have to have an element of luck. On that front we certainly [had some luck].”
The news on the surgery front is likely to filter out by the beginning of next week as the Bruins conduct their exit interviews with players and break up the most successful hockey season in Boston in nearly four decades.