VANCOUVER – After having a role in the deciding game Nathan Horton couldn’t resist celebrating a Stanley Cup championship.
The Boston Bruins forward, out with a concussion since Game 3, came on the ice wearing full gear to help his team celebrate their 4-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks in Wednesday night’s Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.
“I can’t believe I’m here right now,” said Horton. “It’s hard to explain.
“I wanted to be out here with my teammates and celebrate. It’s been a long road and we are all happy to finally have the Cup.”
Horton didn’t dress for the game, but did his part to help the Bruins.
About two hours prior to the match he emptied a bottle of water on the Rogers Arena ice. It was labelled “Garden Ice.”
Horton said he was given the water prior to leaving Boston Tuesday.
“It wasn’t my idea,” Horton said with a grin. “I was trying to be sneaky about it but I guess somebody caught me.
“It was Garden ice. I wanted to put it on their ice and make it ours.”
The Bruins home arena is called the TD Garden.
Boston forward Shawn Thornton laughed when told what Horton did.
“What ever it takes,” he said.
Bruins’ coach Claude Julien said Horton was an inspiration to the team.
“Our doctors said he was well enough to make the trip,” said Julien.
“The guys came to me this morning and said ‘we would like Nathan’ to be in our dressing room from the get-go and be part of the preparation for the game. He wanted to be part of it. That shows you how united of a group we were and how we cared for each other.”
Horton was injured following a hit by Canuck defenceman Aaron Rome. Rome was handed a four-game suspension.
Horton had eight goals and nine assists in 21 games before the injury.