|Oft-criticized defenseman Tomas Kaberle (right) no doubt has the support of Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. (Elsa/Getty Images)|
Throwing water on celebration
Horton is fined for squirting fan
Nathan Horton’s dash through the playoffs has been a hop, skip, and a tap-in as the winger, who turns 26 today, has scored eight goals, including two of the three series clinchers, demonstrating he has a big heart to match the big grin perpetually plastered on his face.
It’s an extraordinary run for a player who never tasted the postseason in his first six NHL seasons, all with the Florida Panthers.
But Horton did not slip through the Eastern Conference finals unscathed. Yesterday, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli revealed that Horton had been fined an undisclosed amount by the NHL for spraying a fan with water after the Game 6 loss in Tampa.
Horton was captured on video taken by a fan at the end of the Lightning’s 5-4 victory. While the players skated off, fans littered the ice with plastic noisemakers that had been distributed earlier.
At least one bounced off the head of David Krejci as he was moving from the bench to the exit tunnel, and linemate Horton responded, grabbing a water bottle and squirting a fan, then tossing the bottle into the crowd.
The video is grainy, but not so much that Horton couldn’t be identified.
“That’s an unfortunate incident,’’ Chiarelli said. “I didn’t really focus on it and I didn’t talk to Nathan about it. He has been fined. So that issue has been resolved.
“Those are the types of things that, when they happen, you get the call and then you deal with them. To fret about them before they happen is, I think, a bit of a waste of energy.’’
Chiarelli did not specify the amount of the fine, but the maximum under the collective bargaining agreement is $2,500.
“It’s been fun to watch Nathan really enjoy himself in these playoffs and really get into it,’’ said Chiarelli. “And there’s a couple of games where he had so much edge and he was so into it, the one game he had the two penalties, and it’s just fun watching how he adjusts.
“But that line [with Milan Lucic] is a dangerous line. He’s got a great release and a great shot, and he gets in the right spot. And so, he should be one of the guys that contribute at those clutch times.’’
New challenges Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg will again get the assignment of shutting down the most dangerous forwards in the Stanley Cup finals against the Canucks, including Henrik and Daniel Sedin, and Ryan Kesler.
“[Friday] night, I think [Seidenberg] had the best game I’ve seen him play,’’ said Chiarelli.
Seidenberg played 27:57, blocked eight shots, and made two hits in the 1-0 win in Game 7.
“He was a horse. And then you couple him with Z and you’ve got a tremendous shutdown pair.
“He’s just so strong and he makes the right play. He’s thick and he can log those minutes and recover very quickly.’’
Back to work The Bruins did not practice yesterday, but will be back on Garden ice today, and will head to Vancouver tomorrow. “The challenge is travel,’’ Chiarelli said. After opening the series Wednesday, the teams have a two-day break before Saturday’s Game 2 . . . Tickets for Games 3, 4, and 6 at TD Garden will go on sale Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the TD Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000.