, Salem, MA

June 26, 2013

Our view: Thank you, Bruins

The Salem News

---- — Seventeen seconds. Two goals. And that’s all it took for the Chicago Blackhawks to take one cup back to Illinois.

The Bruins’ Monday night loss in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals was heartbreaking. But in a season that almost wasn’t, there is a lot of good to say about our Boston Bruins.

They had the greatest comeback in playoff history, recovering from a three-goal deficit in Game 7 to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs; they beat the New York Rangers in five games; and they swept the Pittsburgh Penguins, the best team in the Eastern Conference, to make it to the Stanley Cup finals.

But it was one game in their regular season we remember. One day after the Boston Marathon bombings, the Bruins took to the ice against the Buffalo Sabres. It was the city’s first major athletic event after the terrorist attack. Coach Claude Julien said that day, “We have the ability to help people heal and find some reason to smile again.”

The game started with tears as Boston Strong ribbons lit up the ice, and a video montage of marathon images played on the Jumbotron. More than 17,000 fans and players overpowered Rene Rancourt in singing the national anthem. It was heart-wrenching yet healing. The game then started with chants of “U.S.A! U.S.A!” and the smiles were back as the puck dropped.

At the end of the game, the Bruins banged their sticks on the ice and raised them to the fans. It was a salute to us, and it was the start of our healing.

So, thank you, Boston Bruins. We may not have the championship, but our cup runneth over with gratitude for what you did for us this season.