4. Scott Walker’s OT goal (Game 7 of the 2009 Conference Semi-Final vs Boston)
Scotty Walker scored a single playoff goal in his NHL career. Just one. But boy, did he make it count.
A goal forever etched in Carolina Hurricanes history, Walker’s stunning overtime goal in Game 7 of the 2009 East Semi-Final against Boston remains one of the most memorable goals in the history of the team. The lead-up to the goal is what makes it even more sensational.
In case you’ve forgotten, or weren’t a die-hard Canes fan (or even a fan at all) in 2009, let me recap what happened. With Carolina up 3-1 in the series after 4 games, they played very lousy in Game 5, losing the game 4-0 to keep the series alive for Boston. However, in that game, Scott Walker became public enemy #1 for Bruins fans.
With less than 3 minutes left in the game, Canes forward Matt Cullen got into a bit of a scrum with ex-Cane Aaron Ward in front of the Boston net. Walker came to Cullen’s defense, and actually sucker-punched Ward. Walker was ejected from the game, but inexplicably, not suspended for his actions. After Carolina lost Game 6 on home ice, they went back to Boston for Game 7.
After an extremely hard-fought 60 minutes, the Bruins and Hurricanes were deadlocked. A Milan Lucic goal in the 3rd period evened the score at 2, and thus the game headed to overtime. That’s when the villainous Walker became the hero.
With barely over a minute remaining in the first OT period, Ray Whitney fired a puck in on Tim Thomas from far off along the boards. Walker won the race to the net, and slid the puck past Thomas to seal the Hurricanes spot in the Eastern Conference Finals, and putting a dagger into the hate-filled 17,565 Bruins fans at TD Garden that night.
Unfortunately the Hurricanes’ marvelous run ended swiftly in the ECF against Pittsburgh, but Walker’s goal will always remain a classic. The villain-to-hero status just make it all that much better, and when you add John Forslund’s chilling call to the mix, it’s undisputedly one of the all-time great goals in Hurricanes history.