Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic

Top 10 2011 Playoff Moments: Horton beats the Habs


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:

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“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.


Philly stays alive

Roloson turns back the clock…and the Penguins

Preds win! Preds win!

Burrows buries Blackhawks

Gustavsson secures one-year contract with Bruins

Jonas Gustavsson
AP Photo
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There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.

The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.

That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.

In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.

Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.

Flames release Ryan Wilson from PTO

Ryan Wilson, Sidney Crosby
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The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.

The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.

Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.

The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.

He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.

The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.

The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.

The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.