From Apr. 1-10, ProHockeyTalk will be counting down the Top 10 moments from the 2011 postseason.
Here’s No. 7 — Nathan Horton scoring an overtime game-winner in Game 7 of the Montreal Canadiens-Boston Bruins series.
The beauty and agony of the playoffs is that the margin between victory and defeat can be paper-thin. The Bruins’ Stanley Cup run is a great testament to that as they needed three Game 7 victories (and one sweep) to win it all, but one could argue that Montreal had them on the ropes the most. So ponder all the “What ifs?” while watching Horton’s OT-winner in Game 7 of the tight first round series:
“Just getting to the playoffs is all I was really thinking about. This has been a dream come true,” Horton said. “I’m really enjoying it. I’m enjoying it more every day.”
Horton spent the first six seasons of his career with the Florida Panthers, which obviously means that this was the first playoff series of his NHL days. Up until that point, Horton hadn’t been very effective in that series – aside from another OT goal – but he would go on to score another Game 7-winner to launch the Bruins into the Stanley Cup finals. That made this Claude Julien quote quite the prediction:
“He’s been saving it for seven years, right?” Julien said. “So he had a lot of game-winning goals in him.”
Sadly, all indications are that Horton won’t have a chance to conjure more magic in this year’s playoffs because of concussion issues that began in that same magical run.
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.
“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.
“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.