BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Bruins are not expecting Nathan Horton to be at the TD Garden for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals, but he will not be forgotten.
The team has placed their “player of the game” jacket in his locker, where it will stay for the time being. But they know what will make their injured teammate feel a lot better after suffering a severe concussion in Game 3 against the Canucks.
“We know what we have to do to make him happy, and that’s to win the Stanley Cup,” said Coach Claude Julien Wednesday morning.
Although Claude Julien would not give any clues as to who would take Horton’s spot on the top line, Rich Peverley is expected to start alongside David Krejci and Milan Lucic when the puck drops.
It will be impossible for the Bruins to replace a player like Horton, but the team is up for the challenge.
“It’s an extremely big hole, he’s scored some big goals for us,” said Pevereley after the Bruins morning skate. “He’s obviously been one of our best players the whole playoffs. You can’t expect to fill his shoes. I think everyone in the locker room has to step up.”
Peverley, Julien and Krejci Talk Horton
“It’s going to be hard, he’s one of the best players on the team,” said Krejci of his injured linemate. “Each guy has to step up their game and go out there and do it for him. That’s what we did last game, we did it for him. Everyone chipped in and we got eight goals.”
Horton was second on the team with eight goals during the playoffs, including Game 7, series-winning goals against the Canadiens (in OT) and Lightning.
Even after losing such an important player on what many see as a “dirty” play, the Bruins coach is not worried about his team seeking any retaliation against Vancouver in Game 4.
“We desperately need a win to get ourselves back in this series. That’s where our focus is,” said Julien. “It’s certainly not going to be about looking for revenge. Justice has been served, so there’s no other reason to look for more.”
Although Horton is not expected in attendance, injured Bruin Marc Savard is. Savard is still recovering from the lingering effects of a concussion he suffered in January, his second in less than a year.
98.5 The Sports Hub is the only local station to listen to every game of the Stanley Cup Finals. Coverage begins an hour before each game with the Bruins Pregame show hosted by Dave Goucher & Bob Beers.