The Bruins, to a man, would have liked to see their first game action since the horrific attacks on the Boston Marathon to have ended in a win. It just wasn’t meant to be, however, as they suffered a shootout loss to Buffalo. But it didn’t need to be, either.
And while the “B” on the Bruins’ sweaters could stand for Boston and Bruins, there was no doubt which it stood for on Wednesday. The B’s were playing for Boston, and they did their city proud.
To say that just playing a hockey game goes a long way in the healing process following Monday’s events would be foolish and insulting even. But don’t think for a second that just getting back out on the TD Garden ice didn’t play at least a small role in helping to return to normalcy.
The Bruins gave a hurting city a few hours (and some bonus hockey, actually) to forget about life for a while. For those lucky enough to be in attendance Wednesday, it was a chance to get back into the city and once again be reminded of the Hub’s charm and charisma. For those at home, at least it was something else to watch other than news coverage.
Bruins players understood that they were able to help, but there was also a feeling of devestation in their dressing room following the game. They weren’t just upset to lose the hockey game and miss a chance to move into first place in the Northeast Division. They let their fans down, or so they thought.
“We wanted to go out there and win that hockey game,” B’s forward Chris Kelly emphatically stated. “I’m disappointed that we didn’t. We wanted to give the city something to be happy about.
“We went out and battled hard, I’m not taking that away from the guys, but we really wanted to get the two points and hopefully put a smile on someone’s face.”
Those smiles were definitely there, but you’ll have to forgive Kelly for not seeing those smiling faces all night. He was busy trying to win a hockey game. He was far from alone in his discontent with the way things turned out.
“We felt that the fans deserved it tonight, and we couldn’t get it done,” forward Patrice Bergeron said in his first game back in the lineup since suffering a concussion. “It’s hard to feel like you won right now because they deserved better. The city is a winner for sure. It was great. It was something very special to be a part of.”
These are professional athletes. They are wired in even some of the most adverse circumstances, to do all it takes to win. Even on an emotional night like Wednesday, the goal is to still win the game, no matter the motive. Yet, the Bruins were still able to put things in perspective, no matter how much it hurts to know that they couldn’t come up with the win.
They know, deep down, that they were part of the healing process.
“I think that everybody wants to give somebody a positive feeling walking out of the rink tonight,” Andrew Ference said. I think everybody knows that it was bigger than just the result of the game. So I think that we’re still positive in the way that we had an event, we had people cheering, we had people out and about and having a good time. A good solid win we wanted so bad, but in the end, you take the good from the night.”
Scoreboard be damned, it was a good night, not only for the Bruins, but the entire city of Boston. For one night, at least, that’s all that really mattered.