PEABODY — With the Boston Bruins making their Stanley Cup finals appearance tonight, the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics are getting a taste of what it feels like to be fighting off a power play.
After years as the middle child of Boston sports — too often they’ve been lost in the mix — the icemen cometh with stunning playoff victories over the Toronto Maple Leafs (an overtime win in Game 7 after coming back from a three-goal deficit), the New York Rangers (4 games to 1) and Pittsburgh Penguins (4 games to none), victories that have zapped their fan base and brought along increasing numbers of new hockey fans.
Anticipation for the matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks, which, like Boston, is one of the six original National Hockey League franchises, is growing.
Paul Millman at Modell’s Sporting Goods in Beverly has seen the results firsthand.
“It was very busy here on Saturday (following the victory over the Penguins). ... We had people waiting in the morning, lining up,” Millman said.
So many Bruins items flew out of the store that new shipments were quickly ordered.
“Locker room hats were the most popular item. Those are the white hats they wear on the ice after the game. They were gone pretty quick,” he said.
Game jerseys, with prices as high as $160, move a little more slowly.
“But we could put anything out Bruins and they’d grab it,” he said. “Anything with a Bruins logo.”
Saleswoman Logan Carbello of Danvers notes that items emblazoned with the names of forwards Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron are drawing a lot of interest, along with those bearing the name Torey Krug, “because he’s one of the youngest out there.” She expects, in the days to come, lots of new fans “will be jumping on the bandwagon.”
In downtown Salem, Rick Naples, who manages Tavern In the Square, said that he can’t keep even one of the tavern’s 33 televisions tuned to the Red Sox while the Bruins are on the ice.