Tag Archives: Nathan Horton

Chuck checks one off her bucket list.

9 Jun

Last night, I had the time of my life.

Just like Baby in “Dirty Dancing.”  Except instead of Johnny Castle, I had Tim Thomas.

Thanks to a one very awesome friend, I was at Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals at TD Garden.

Bruins shutout the Canucks, 4-0  to even the series 2-2.  Series returns to Vancouver for Game 5 on Friday.

Attending the Stanley Cup Finals is a dream for any hockey fan, including me.  It was very high on my bucket list, right up there with seeing the pyramids and making out with Ben Affleck.

But I never thought that it would ACTUALLY happen.

That was until last night.

So how did I get there?  How did I come to check this off my bucket list? And what did it feel like when I did?

See below...

[ It’s sort long but bear with me.  Get it?  Bear.  🙂 ]

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I have a friend from high school.  His name is Smitty.  It’s really Kevin, but pretty sure that his mom and his wife are the only ones who call him Kevin (but of that I can’t really be sure).  Smitty is a high school teacher and hockey coach and like me, a life long Bruin fan, and fan of the sport in general.

The man had a Stanley Cup groom’s cake at his wedding. Clearly, this man is our hero.

Through sickness, health, and hockey season...

Smitty emails me Monday morning.

Cue me, freaking out.

I message him back immediately.

My response reads something like: “COUNT ME IN!  Holy #@%*.  I love you!  How much are the tickets?  Oh really?  That much?  Whatever.  That’s cool.  I’ll just eat ramen for a month.”

I get all light-headed.  Have to sit down.  *deep breath*

Wednesdays are grad school days for me, but fortunately my professor is a sports psychologist and hockey fan, so he was very understanding when I told him I had to leave early because I was going to Game 4.

As I make my way down Canal Street to the Garden, I am engulfed in a sea of black and gold…with bit of white and blue mixed in.

Brave orcas.

The closer I get to the Garden, the more my heart starts to flutter.

I’m really here.

This is really happening.

Before heading to our seats (in Club Section 145, no less), quick stop is made at the Bruins Pro Shop.  One must mark this occasion with SCF accoutrements, including a t-shirt and banner.

Now, my office looks even better.

Finally we make to our seats and the significance of the moment finally hits me.

I made it. I’m at the Stanley Cup Finals.

Stanley Cup Finals. I went to there.

The Stanley Cup Finals are a special sporting event, but it takes on a whole new meaning and significance when your team are the ones playing for it.

From warm-ups to the announcement of the Three Stars, the atmosphere in the Garden was super-charged, like a summer thunderstorm.

Every single person in that arena was sending out the most positive beautiful energy that it is hard to believe how the players couldn’t feel it seeping through the walls into the locker room.

Every time Nathan Horton’s name was mentioned or they showed a fan wearing his jersey, the crowd erupted in cheers and applause.  In only his first season as a Bruin, NH18 has made his mark as a fan favorite and the outpouring of love from the Black and Gold faithful has to help speed up his recover.

Bruins legend Bobby Orr (#4) was the honorary flag bearer for the start of the game.  Fittingly, he waved Horton’s flag, as a salute to the injured Bruins forward.

Genius move, Bruins.  Way to lift the crowd to an whole other level of controlled frenzy.

(Sidenote: Bobby Orr is like 65, but he is still WAY hot.)

Silver Fox.

Do it for Horty.

The game itself was everything that one could hope for in a SCF game…unless you are a Canucks fan.  The Green Men were very sad.

The Bruins were dominant, controlled, quick to the puck.

Their penalty kill continues to shine (21 for 22 in this series).

Bruins D-fence remains dominant in shutting down Vancouver’s offensive threats. I think it is because of Adam McQuaid’s mullet.  That thing is glorious and magical.

Tim Thomas’s Vezina stock continues to rise with every acrobatic, heart-stopping save that he makes.  The man is a beast, albeit a fluffy, smiley beast.   I just want to hug him so tight.

"Hey there! What's up? Nothing too much here. Just playing goal like I'm out of my gourd."

They showed Marc Savard on the jumbotron.  The place went nuts.  Please come back soon.  I miss you.

They showed Rachel McAdams on the jumbotron.  A lot.  Couldn’t tell if she was rooting for the Bruins or the Canucks, but she looked like she was having fun, so that’s cool.

Going to a Stanley Cup Finals game is a once in a lifetime experience but to be able to experience it with your hometown team, on home ice, is something entirely transcendental.

It leaves you with a feeling of elation.  Of glee.  Of passion. Of adoration.  Of worship.  

And most of all, of pride.  

Mess with the Bear, You get the Claws

7 Jun

The Boston Bruins came into Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals last night needed a win to avoid going down 3-0 to the Vancouver Canucks.

Well, they got that win…and then some.

They mauled the Canucks with their big, sharp claws.

Bear’s Victory Dance is well deserved.

Bruins play best when they are infuriated.  Aaron Rome gave them plenty to be P.O’d about after his late, blind side hit on Nathan Horton.  Horton lay on the ice, motionless, his right arm frozen as if he was still clutching the stick.  His eyes were fluttering as if he was having a petite mal seizure.  Terrifying to watch.  I don’t think that there was a single hockey fan, Bruin or Canuck alike, who wasn’t praying and hoping that NH18 would be okay.  Horton was transported to the hospital strapped to a stretcher.  Rome was tossed.  Bruins got a 5 minute PP.  Although they failed to capitalize on the man advantage, it seemed to ignite a fire within the belly of the bear. Players said that during the 1st intermission, the Bruins rallied around their injured teammate and vowed “to win one for Horty.” 

The Killer Bs came out of locker room, impassioned and determined to avenge their comrade-in-ice. 11 seconds into the 2nd, Andrew Ference (the original Green man) put the Black and Gold on the board with a slapshot from the point…

And the Bruins never looked back.

They poured it and managed to solve the goaltending puzzle that is Roberto Luongo.  Apparently, the key is to go high and go glove side.  Bruins beat him 3 times on the glove side and the other goals (with the exception of Kesler’s own goal) were up around Luongo’s ears. 

Apparently, the Bruins can’t score on the PP but they can shorthanded.  2 SHG.  They keep producing like that, we’ll gladly welcome those penalties!

Bruins had 7 different goal scores which shows the depth of the team’s forwards and their skill with the puck.  Marchand’s goal was highlight reel material and the little Motoscooter’s post goal celebration rivals the joyful exuberance of Dawn’s future 2nd husband, Alex Ovechkin.

They are way too happy to pay any attention to the moron flashing them...

Tim Thomas frustrated the Canucks with his in-cre-ab-leh saves and feats of flexibility.  He even managed to lay a hit on Henrik Sedin that would make Bill Belichick proud.

Protecting the house.

 If this guy doesn’t win the Vezina, than every GM in the NHL needs to have his head examined.  Sure, we might me a *bit* bias, but seriously.  Have you been watching him play?  Tim Thomas = Beast of the East.

 The Bruins D shut down the SedinBots, Kesler, Burrowes, et al with authority.  Getting Shawn Thornton into the lineup was a stellar move by Coach Claude.  It’s was like waking the bear from hibernation.  Who was grumpyAnd hungry. We’re all Seguinistas here but in this situation, it was best to sit the kid and go with the heart, toughness, and SCF experience that  ST22 brings to the team.  Plus he talks trash like nobody’s business.  Constantly yapping away, that one.

I could go on and on about all the things that the Bruins did right and all the things that the Canucks did wrong, but frankly I’m just mentally exhausted.  Energy must be conserved since I’ll be in the stands for Game 4.

I’ll try to tweet but I don’t know if my hands will stop shaking enough.

What If ..

28 May

watch out vancouver, he's lethal with a water bottle

After Tampa Bay beat Boston in Tampa Bay for Game 6, Nathan Horton purposely picked up a water bottle and sprayed a Tampa Bay fan with a water bottle and then threw it at the fan as he left the ice for the locker room. Yes, the fan was yelling something at him but so were many others. Yes, Tampa was dumb to give out noise clackers that were heavy enough that fans could throw far enough to make it onto the ice but again, this particular fan did not do anything TOHorton to deserve what he got. And yes, it’s water.

The incident happens at the 1:20 mark. The only film available is on Youtube: (I got it to embed for you – Pants)

Puck Daddy mentions this YESTERDAY before Game 7 :

“Before the 2010-11 season, the NHL made it clear that players spraying fans with water bottles, even when there’s penalty box glass in between them, was outlawed. ”

You may remember, John Tortorella, the coach of the NY Rangers, was suspended for a game for spraying a fan with a water bottle and NOT throwing anything. This was during the 2009 playoffs. But there was a big who-ha about this when it happened. And I am not going to compare this to Rick Rypien of the Canucks because that is silly.

But the NHL did NOT suspend Horton nor provide any disciplinary action for the incident. However, there was a precedent and where is the disciplinary consistency? But if they HAD, would Boston have won game 7 against Tampa Bay since Nathan Horton snagged his second game winning goal? He now has a NHL record of scoring two game winning, game 7 goals in the same playoff year.

I was a little shocked that no media asked either coaches about this nor Versus or the CBC brought this up during the post-game analysis. It seems like everyone wanted to just sweep it under the rug.

I’m not trying to take anything away from Boston or their win tonight, nor Nathan Horton but I certainly hope perhaps the classy Tim Thomas takes him aside, sits him down and has a long talk with him about sportsmanship, being a professional and keeping his emotions in check. Because watching game 7 and then seeing all the interviews with this young man afterward, knowing about his shameful behaviour towards the Tampa Bay fans, made it a little hard to feel good about his achievements. I hope he realized he dodged a huge bullet.

i am master of the universe!

On a lighter note, Tim Thomas gave the BEST QUOTE ever, post-game when Scott Oakes asked him how he planned on handling Vancouver, “Well .. obviously, ah, I just plan on stopping as many pucks as possible!”  Good plan Tim. How can you not love this guy?

It’ll only takes one…

24 May

The Bruins are one win away from the Stanley Cup Finals.

One win.  One measly little win.

It is so close, we can taste it.

Tastes like peanut butter and happiness.

Yesterday’s 3-1 win over the Lightning was not pretty by any means, but it is a “W” nonetheless.

Bruins’ d-men looks shaky and slow.  Communication between Timmay and ZC33, AF21, DS44, TK12 and the rest of the guys was off and we don’t like it one bit.  But they did stick Big Z in front of the net to screen out Smith.  Well played, Claude.  It’s like trying to see around a California redwood.

Bruins let TB score early in the first (again!).  Guys, we can’t let this happen anymore.  WUYS forbids it.  It is soul-crushing and we can’t take the stress about the B’s having to come from behind a minute into the game.

We’re totally cool with goalies playing the puck…when it is safe and necessary to do so.  Too many times this series Timmay has gone back to play the biscuit and crashed into a defensemen or misplayed the puck leading to a turnover.  Do us a favor, Timmy.  Just stay in your home.  Don’t venture out.  Become agoraphobic.  Those blue lines are to become your personal little bubble.

Bruins got scoring from Horton, Motorscooter Marchand, and Rich Peverley, who I’m sure goes home everything and prays to baby Jesus in the tuxedo t-shirt that he got out of Atlanta when he did.  While his former teammates back up their u-hauls and deal with the drama of the Thrashers relocation to Winnipeg, RP49 is one win away from getting the chance to play for Lord Stanley’s Cup.

The game was hard-fought and one could argue that the Lightning outplayed the Bruins, but some how the Killer B’s pulled it out.

Like the proverbial rabbit out of hat.

Abracadabra!

Game 6 is tomorrow night in Tampa Bay.  *fingerscrossed*  no magical tricks required.

Just because I’m still as giddy as a kid hopped up on marshmallow Peeps…

25 Apr

Just because I’m still smiling…

Hoping it’ll last…

We’ll find out tomorrow…

Marchand NOSE how to celebrate.

HAPPY HUGS FOR EVERYONE!

Timmy, you complete me.

Boston Garden aka The House of Pain

10 Feb

I’m exhausted.

Last night’s Canadiens/Bruins game was epic.  The craziest 60 minutes of hockey I’ve ever seen.  Seriously.  Ever.

Every game between these long time rivals is emotional charged but this was ridiculous.  Ridiculously AWESOME.  I started to write this post last night, but was too emotionally exhausted so I went to sleep to collect my thoughts.

After not so restful 8 hours of sleep, here are my thought about FightFest 2011

The TD Garden, home of the big bad Bruins, will henceforth be known as the House of Pain.

Bring it.

  • This game had everything.  Lions and Tigers and Bears OH MY! 14 goals.  41 penalties.  237 fights.
  • A PLETHORA of goals.  Between two of the top defensive teams in the NHL. The poor PA guy barely had time to catch up between all the penalties and the goals.  Get that man a Ricola STAT!
  • The massive 2nd period brawl – 34 PIM handed out.
  • Crowded house in the penalty box. At one point, 6 Bruins in the penalty box, 5 in the Habs’ box.  As Pants pointed out, it is like piling people into a phone booth.

Tight squeeze

  • Goalie fight! Thomas vs. Price.  Not as epic as Johnson vs. DiPietro but entertaining none the less.  Timmay smiling and laughing the whole time.
  • All five players on one line putting up their dukes.  Now that’s what I call teamwork, boys. You fight, I fight, We all fight!  YAY!
  • Nathan Horton has a 5 point game (1 goal, 4 assists).  Could he finally be living up to his potential??
  • Lucic the Love Doctor added 2 goals and an assist.  Ryder score 2 goal-scorer’s goals. Krecji had 3 assists.  With Savvy done for the year, these guys are really going to have to produce for the Bruins to have any shot at making a run in the playoffs.

On a side note, Tyler Seguin totally bumming that he missed this game.  The youngster was a healthy scratch last night because he hasn’t exactly been playing up to par recently.  Perhaps Coach Claude thought a night watching from the stands might light his fire.  After that fightfest, I bet Ty-Ty is hitting the weight room and skating at practice twice as hard.

Forget about guns. I got missiles.

Horton Hears…a Who’s That Guy?

16 Sep

Hi all, Chuck here.

So with the start of the season only a few weeks away (cue our Balki Bartokimus-style “Dance of Joy”), I thought it would be apropos to talk a little bit about my favorite team, the good ‘ol Big, Bad, Black and Gold – the Boston Bruins.

The last few seasons for us have been less than stellar.  Sure we make it to the playoffs, only to get pummeled by the Philadelphia Flyers and Scott Hartnell’s hair last year and the gut-wrenching overtime loss to the Hartford Whalers Caroline Hurricanes the year before, the start of a new season always brings the promise of that perfectly played season that ends with the Czech Giant, Zdeno Chara, lifting the cup 10 feet above his head and skating around the Garden in two strides.  (In case you haven’t heard, dude is mad tall.)

Some in Boston claim that #1 Draft pick Tyler Seguin might be our savior, our Sidney Crosby, you might say, but I’m more excited about Nathan Horton.   Who? Tim Horton, the Canadian Coffee Guy?

Who wants a donut, eh?

No, not him.  This guy…

Nobody is this happy playing hockey in Florida.

Never heard of him?  Me neither.  Not until he came to the Bruins in an off-season trade for defenceman Dennis Wideman and a draft pick.

So who is this guy?

Nathan Horton.  Right Wing.  Born May 29, 1985.  6’2″, 229 lbs. (read: Beast).  Married to Playboy model (of course), who also happens to be the great-niece of Jacques Plante.  Drafted #3 Overall in 2003, at the ripe ol’ age of 18 and was part of the stellar class that year, which included Marc Andre Fleury, Eric Staal, Thomas Vanek, Zach Parise, and Jeff Carter.  Career-high goals: 31.  Total goals: 142.

Word around town is that he’ll be on a line with my Marc (Savard), so the prospect of him scoring 30 or more goals this season is a definite possibility.  Savard loves passing pucks like a fat kid loves eating cake.  Bruins have been dying for a finisher ever since Phil Kessel left and me thinks that this Horton guy and his nasty wrist shot might be it.  Granted this all remains to be seen, I mean there is a whole season to play, but the prospect has me all googily-eyed and optimistic.

Until next time, WUYSers!

Chuck. Out.