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Bruins Talk Injuries on the Eve of the Playoffs

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
WILMINGTON, MA -- Boston's hockey media are used to Claude Julien's daily injury report.

But rarely are they as definitive as today's news, delivered by press release and by General Manager Peter Chiarelli, that Nathan Horton would miss all of the 2012 postseason with a concussion.

"Well, number one it’s unfortunate," said the Bruins head coach to reporters gathered for his pre-playoff press conference. "I think we lose a pretty good player.

"As an organization you’ve got to make the right decision. He’s tried to come back a few times and he’s had some setbacks lately. You could tell he was feeling the pressure of trying to come back for the playoffs and when you’re not feeling well, that’s not right.

"I think it was important for us to let him know that we’re going to shut him down for the rest of the year," he said.

The B's will miss Horton on the ice, but Julien said first and foremost the hockey club had to care for Horton's health, despite Nathan's best efforts toward a return to the Boston lineup.

"You know, [he’s] probably a little relieved in a way because of the pressure he’s putting on himself," said Julien. "He really wanted to be able to help him teammates and everything else, but if you’re not ready, you can’t push a guy to play.

"Certainly his health has always been the main concern for us," continued Julien. "We’ve managed without him and we’re going to continue to manage without him.

"But we hope that this way he’ll be able to heal properly and we’re taking the right approach to the concussion he’s had and allow him to be 100 percent when he’s ready to come back," he said.

Update on Nos. 40, 54 & 55
There was, however, some hope in regard to the other injured Bruins - defensemen Johnny Boychuk and Adam McQuaid, as well as goaltender Tuukka Rask.

"I think you keep seeing Johnny and Tuukka out there and they’re doing much better," said Julien.  "Obviously, with Johnny, we have an opportunity maybe to make a decision tomorrow and again, specifying the opportunity -- [it's] not 100 percent -- but he’s feeling fairly good so we’ll want to remain optimistic with him.

"Same thing with [Adam] McQuaid, [however] he didn’t skate again today, so he’s not going to be part of our lineup tomorrow."

The same goes for Rask who should remain in the press box in favor of recent call-up Anton Khudobin.

"Unless somebody tells me something today or tomorrow morning, I guess I don’t anticipate having him in the lineup," said Julien.

Peverley Progresses
Julien was asked about another recently recovered Bruin, Rich Peverley, and the forward's road back from injury.

"I think having missed six weeks, I don’t think we expected [Peverley] to come back and be at the top of his game – it’s a work in progress," he said. "He is getting better – every game that he’s played he’s gotten a little better.

"I think if there’s one element – he’s skating well, skating’s not an issue which is a good sign because the injury he suffered was what could have hindered his skating. But it’s his hands with the puck and making plays and stuff like that, he’s just trying to find, I guess, his groove and his comfort level in regards to that.

"Even just watching him this week in practice it’s gotten better. So, it’s a matter of time and if he continues to improve then we’re going to be in good shape."
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