Claude Julien Dispels Rumors of Nathan Horton Playing for Boston Bruins in Game 7


Claude Julien Dispels Rumors of Nathan Horton Playing for Boston Bruins in Game 7 VANCOUVER — Nathan Horton is on hand in Vancouver and his very presence is sure to help inspire the Bruins in their quest for the Cup in Wednesday's Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

But Horton won't be on the ice, unless it's to join his teammates for a post-game celebration should they beat the Canucks. While rumors have swirled about Horton potentially making a dramatic return from the concussion he suffered in Game 3 to play on Wednesday night, Bruins coach Claude Julien was quick to quash any such talk during the Bruins' media availability Wednesday morning at the club's hotel in Vancouver.

"Let me cut your question short," Julien interjected as a reporter began to ask about the possibility of Horton playing in Game 7. "Absolutely no. It's ridiculous. So let's put an end to that."

Horton was injured on a late hit to the head by Vancouver defenseman Aaron Rome, who will also be out Wednesday serving the fourth and final game of his suspension for that hit. Horton did make the trip with the team to Vancouver on Tuesday, and the Bruins are certainly glad to have him around even if he can't play.

"He's awesome, I love that guy," Bruins forward Shawn Thornton said. "He really puts everyone in a better mood, always puts a smile on your face. Any time you can have a guy like that around, it's a positive thing."

Bruins fans showed their love for Horton with a loud and long ovation for the injured winger when he was shown on the jumbotron during Game 6 at the Garden. Horton got the crowd, and his teammates, pumped up as he waved a rally towel to urge them on. He's not likely to get any camera time on the big screen at Rogers Arena on Wednesday, but he'll still be around to help inspire his teammates.

"Obviously, it's awesome to see him here and see him doing much better," Bruins forward Chris Kelly said. "That was a great thing the Bruins did for him in Game 6. I think it was pretty emotional for everyone in the stands and on the bench to see that. He's been a big part of our success all year long, and it's only fitting that he's here with us now."

Horton supplied the game-winning goal in each of the Bruins' first two Game 7s this postseason, beating Montreal in overtime in the opening round and Tampa Bay 1-0 in the conference final. It will be up to someone else to score the winner in this Game 7, though.

"I guess someone will have another opportunity to step up," Kelly said. "It's certainly been the case so far. When guys have gotten hurt and gone down, other guys have had an opportunity to step up and have played good."

To help make sure Horton is recognized as still being an integral part of the team, the Bruins have brought all his equipment to Vancouver and set it up in his stall in the locker room. He won't be able to use it Wednesday, but might another Bruin try to see if there's another Game 7 winning goal left in one of Horton's sticks?

"Maybe not me. I shoot left, but who knows?" Kelly said. "If I think it's going to work, maybe I'll do it."

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