Horton lifted Bruins' spirits
MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency
VANCOUVER - Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton did not lace up the skates in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, but he still played a role.
About an hour before the opening faceoff of the Bruins' 4-0 Cup-clinching victory against the Vancouver Canucks, Horton was seen sprinking Boston water on the Rogers Arena ice surface.
I can't take credit (for the idea), but I put it on. I was trying to be sneaky about it, but they saw me, said Horton. It's from our Garden ice back home. We wanted to put it on their ice and make it our ice.
It would prove to be a good omen for the Bruins, who would go on to win their first Cup since 1972.
Despite his pleas to receive clearance from team doctors, Horton's desire to play in Game 7 had been thwarted by team officials. This was his way, in the end, of chipping in.
Horton was carted off the ice early in Game 3 of the 2011 Stanley Cup final after suffering a concussion from a late hit by Vancouver Canucks defenceman Aaron Rome. Rome subsequently received a four-game suspension from the NHL.
There had been speculation that Horton wanted to give it a go for Game 7, but coach Claude Julien quickly nipped such talk in the bud.
While he didn't suit up, Horton did accompany the Bruins to Vancouver and was seen walking along the city's waterfront on Monday morning with teammates Zdeno Chara and Andrew Ference.
"It's great to see him here," Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. "He's brought up everyone's spirits and has given us a little motivation."
And a bit of magic Beantown water, too.