My Favorite Goal: Borschevsky’s goal sealed with a kiss

Welcome to “My Favorite Goal,” a regular feature from NBC Sports where our writers, personalities and NHL players remember the goals that have meant the most to them. These goals have left a lasting impression and there’s a story behind each one.

Today, Gus Katsaros of Rotoworld remembers Nikolai Borschevsky being the Game 7 hero for the 1993 Maple Leafs.

I didn’t see my favorite ever goal live. Easily my favorite, as you will understand, but I missed it. This is the story.

The date was May 1, 1993 with the word ‘date’ having a special double meaning. Two of my biggest disappointments were addressed that day. My sad dating life was extinguished, budding into what would become a valued relationship, moving on from the awkward teen years and what Aerosmith referred to in “Walk This Way” as “I was a high school loser …” Making a shy foray into manhood, that alone was a glorious victory!

But it wasn’t as big as the victory to come that night, courtesy of an overtime marker from a Bob Rouse shot, deflected by Nik Borschevsky to send the Toronto Maple Leafs into the second round of the 1993 playoffs, defeating the heavily favoured Detroit Red Wings. Dougie! Wendel! Nik! Bob Rouse, Felix, Ellett etc. … what a ride. 

My favorite ever goal.

Earlier that day, I had my first date with a woman that would become my sweetheart relationship during my 20’s. She suggested we spend the day together as our first official date. Testing my commitment, she intentionally picked a movie on that specific day, knowing the importance of the game, but scheduling it so that it would end more or less by the time Game 7 began. We watched The Dark Half, a Stephen King thriller that was a better novel than motion picture.

She tested my resolve and she won. I capitulated, giving in to love, while sacrificing my biggest love to that day, the Maple Leafs.

The movie ended about halfway through the second period earning my reward for being accommodating for her. With the timing of the movie ending, she agreed to watch the rest of the game with me. We ended up at my house where a group of my friends and brothers watched as the Leafs went down 3-2 entering the third period. The gathering watched in the basement, while my new love and I went to the family room to watch it alone together. To share our budding love with ‘the Buds.’

We would finally share my favorite thing in the world, hockey, and the Maple Leafs.

She jumped out of her skin and may have taken a few steps back at the celebratory explosion when Doug Gilmour tied it up late in the third period. My crazed reaction that day would be seen many times over that spring – and even beyond. She had her chance to leave at that point … but she stayed. She saw the ‘passion that unites us all’ up close and personal.

She could bottle the tension and worry as the third period wound down and was entering overtime. She excused herself to freshen up during the intermission, while I flipped through channels between periods. When she returned, she had put on my Maple Leafs jersey! The number was 22, honouring Rick Vaive, with a ‘Katsaros’ on the back.

Borschevsky had not played in the series since a Game 1 incident forced him out of the lineup. It was a big blow to the Leafs who missed his skilled hands. He returned in Game 7, with this hero wearing a visor.

But, you see, I missed it.

After she returned, we shared our first kiss, her with my jersey on. And we lost track of time. And I had forgotten to change the channel back to the hockey game after seeing her in my jersey.

We lost ourselves in the first kiss to solidify our new relationship, ending a beautiful day. Game 7 going to overtime, for the underdog Leafs taking on the powerhouse Red Wings was a sweet bonus, more for me than her. We lost track of time …

Then the basement exploded with jubilant cheers! There was a news anchor on my television set babbling about something and instead of changing the channel, I left her alone, running quickly downstairs to watch the replay and celebrate with the rest of the gathered group of friends. She stayed in family room to let me have my moment.

A moment I will always cherish, even if I didn’t get to see it live.

Darren McCarty shows off goal-scoring hands during 1997 Cup Final
Alex Ovechkin scores ‘The Goal’ as a rookie
Marek Malik’s stunning shootout winner
Paul Henderson scores for Canada
• Mario Lemieux’s end-to-end masterpiece; Hextall scores again
Tomas Hertl goes between-the-legs

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    Coaching carousel leaves 10 NHL teams with new face on bench

    Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

    The coaching carousel spun a little faster than usual across the NHL, meaning nearly a third of the league will have someone new behind the bench this season. And not just bottom-feeders making changes.

    Ten teams go into the season next month with a new coach, from Presidents’ Trophy-winning Florida and perennial playoff-contending Boston to rebuilding Chicago and San Jose.

    John Tortorella will try to whip Philadelphia into shape, Bruce Cassidy is tasked with getting Vegas back to the playoffs and Derek Lalonde takes his two Stanley Cup rings as a Tampa Bay assistant to his new challenge with the Detroit Red Wings.


    Philadelphia players knew they were in for some changes when Tortorella was hired, so they asked Cam Atkinson, who spent six years playing for the no-nonsense coach in Columbus.

    “I keep telling them like he’s a guy that’s going to change the whole dynamic of this organization,” Atkinson said.

    Tortorella has not shied away from saying a culture change is needed after a last-place finish and a decade with one playoff series win. There is likely not much he and players can do this year about a Cup drought that dates to 1975, but they can start with maddeningly inconsistent stretches of games that have plagued the Flyers for years, no matter the roster.

    BIG MO

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    Bruins GM Don Sweeney fired Cassidy after a seven-game loss to Carolina in the first round despite Boston’s sixth consecutive playoff appearance.

    Vegas had already fired Peter DeBoer, making him the scapegoat for an injury-riddled fall from the top of the Western Conference that ended with the team’s first playoff miss in five years of existence. The Golden Knights quickly turned to Cassidy, who like Maurice brings experience and gravitas to a franchise with championship aspirations.

    “I think we’re very fortunate as an organization to have him as our coach,” center Jack Eichel said. “Every single person I’ve spoke to about them, they said the same thing: that he’s got a really, really great knack for the game and to able to make adjustments and he understands things. Very, very competitive — wants to win, has won a lot of hockey games over the last few years.”

    The Bruins replaced Cassidy with Jim Montgomery, a hockey lifer getting a second chance after being fired by Dallas in December 2019 for inappropriate conduct. Montgomery sought and received help at a rehab facility and got a big endorsement from the staff with St. Louis, the team he was working for as an assistant.

    “He’s a winner,” Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman said. “I think guys are going to thrive on that energy.”

    The Stars completed the circle by hiring DeBoer, who has coached two teams (New Jersey in 2012 and San Jose in 2016) to the final and is on his fifth stop around the league.

    “This is a tough league and it’s a tough one to coach in and you have to be able to handle situations,” GM Jim Nill said. “I know Pete can do it.”


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    Longtime executive Lou Lamoriello thought his team needed a new voice. But Lambert isn’t that new, and his familiarity with the Islanders keeps some continuity.

    “Barry was great for our team, and having Lane as an assistant, he had lots of say, as well,” forward Mathew Barzal said. “As a group, we all have a good relationship with him, so I think it’ll be an easy transition for our team.”


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    Rick Bowness, the Stars’ interim coach when Montgomery was fired who helped them reach the final in 2020 and was not brought back, joined Winnipeg. He immediately made an impact by stripping Blake Wheeler of the Jets captaincy.

    The other new coaches – Lalonde in Detroit and Luke Richardson in Chicago – are not expected to make such big waves.

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    “He believes in what he’s preaching, which I think is great walking into a new locker room,” captain Dylan Larkin said. “He’s made a great impression on the guys.”

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    Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

    Mathew Barzal has agreed to terms with the New York Islanders on an eight-year extension, a move that keeps the franchise’s top forward under contract for the balance of his prime.

    The deal is worth $73.2 million with an annual salary cap hit of $9.15 million, according to a person with knowledge of the contract. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not announce terms.

    Barzal has led the team in scoring, or been tied for the lead, every season since he became a full-time NHL player in 2017-18. He has 349 points in 411 regular-season and playoff games for the defensively stingy Islanders, who qualified for the postseason three consecutive times before an injury- and virus-altered last year.

    “We feel recharged,” Barzal said recently. “We feel like everybody had good summers and worked hard, and we got that excitement back.”

    Barzal, now 25, is coming off putting up 59 points in 75 games. The offensive star will now be asked to round out his game.

    “I’m a fan because Mat has the ability to raise his game and to be a special player,” general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters at the team’s practice facility on Long Island. “And now, with this contract and our faith in him, (it) puts that responsibility on him. We’re trusting that. It’s up to him to respond to that.”

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    Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

    OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.

    The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.

    Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.

    The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.

    Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.

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    Harry How/Getty Images

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    The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.