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Off day for Bruins

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff  January 12, 2011 09:27 AM

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The Bruins are enjoying a day off following last night's 6-0 thumping of the Senators. The scrubbing is partly weather-related, but the players were due for a rest day. Their last day off was Jan. 4 after their 3-0-2 road trip.

Tomorrow's game should be played. The Flyers beat Buffalo last night and were scheduled to fly to Boston after the game.

With no media availability today, here's the latest version of Plus/Minus:

Plus

+ The emotional and physical engagement of Nathan Horton. The right wing, coming off a two-game shutdown because of an undisclosed injury, was fully committed last night. Horton was one of the best skaters, which led to three shots and a second-period scrap with Brad Winchester. If Horton skates and engages like he did last night, there's no doubt he can be a No. 1 right wing.

+ Brad Marchand's play with Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi. Marchand makes plays happen because of his speed and grit. Bergeron and Recchi aren't the team's fastest skaters. But with Marchand's turbos on the line, it opens up opportunities for his linemates.

+ Efficient breakouts. The Bruins don't have overall natural speed. Instead, they have to work at generating their momentum through the neutral zone. That starts with a crisp north-south transition game, not the plodding D-to-D breakouts that force the forwards to circle back and drift through center ice.

Minus

- Matt Carkner taking out his frustrations on Daniel Paille. Carkner doesn't have a bad reputation, but he didn't win many points with that scrap. Paille has now tussled with Carkner and Dustin Byfuglien in the last two weeks -- not exactly blue-line featherweights. Can't Paille pick on somebody his own size?

- Marc Savard's bad luck. Savard's in his best stretch since returning. He's not getting rewarded for his hard work.

- Lots of cold heads leaving TD Garden on Tuesday night. Surprised to see any hats left after the premature second-period shower.

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