“When the Bruins games are on, no one wants to watch anything else,” he said. “... The whole place is black and gold. There is no separation.”
The situation was similar two years ago when the Bruins clinched the Stanley Cup by beating the Vancouver Canucks on their own ice, he added. Naples is upbeat about this year’s Cup finals despite the Blackhawks’ reputation. He expects celebrations.
“We’ll have the whole place decked out with balloons,” he said. “Everything in here is going to be black and gold.” It’s got to be, he conceded, because every club and eatery around will be doing the same thing.
Passing nearby, Salem resident Andrew Blaisdell was wearing a T-shirt including the faded logo of the team he grew up with — the NHL’s St. Louis Blues. Like the Bruins, the Blues have suffered in the shadow of the baseball Cardinals with their 11 World Series titles, he said. That might have helped Blaisdell in letting go of his original hometown team. After 31/2 years in Salem, he’s begun to warm to the black and gold.
”I’m happy for the Bruins,” he said, before musing, “I could probably make the switch. ... As they do so well, it’s harder to not watch.”
William Katramados and Adrianna Marinaro, who were also out in downtown Salem, have no problem keeping their attention on the ice.
“They’ve done it again,” Katramados said of his beloved Bruins, adding that he can remember “when the Cup was a big dream.” In particular, he praised the extraordinary performance of Finnish-born goalie Tuukka Rask.
Ironically, the strike that shortened the season may have played a role in bringing more fans to the game, leaving them hungry for hockey, Marinaro said.
“Hockey is a big part of Boston,” she said.