The Bruins will take the ice Wednesday night in what would normally be a run-of-the-mill National Hockey League game. Sure, there’s a playoff spot on the line for the B’s, but that’s a foregone conclusion at this point.
Yet, Wednesday night’s Bruins-Sabres game means so much more not only for the Bruins, but their fans, the city of Boston and maybe even America. The B’s will become just the latest of what’s going to be a lengthy healing process in the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy on Monday.
Boston head coach Claude Julien knows that his team will play a huge part in that process, especially as they will be the first professional sports team to return to the city.
“The one thing that I sense from our team is that we have the ability to maybe help people heal and find some reason to smile again, by giving them that, by representing our city properly,” Julien told the media following Wednesday’s morning skate. “To me, this is a time where you are proud to be associated with a professional team, even the NHL and all professional sports. When you look at the support this city has had from rivals and everything else, that are giving us support at this time, it’s amazing. We have an opportunity here to make our city proud. I think we’re all in for it and hopefully we can do that for this city right now.”
While that task may seem a little daunting, Julien is fully embracing it and says he looks forward to it.
“We did that for Newtown [Connecticut]; I’ll tell you what, there wasn’t a better feeling than going there and then trying to spread some joy and put smiles on some people’s faces,” he added. “Our goal is to do the same thing here with this city and everyone that was involved in this tragedy. We’ve got a good group of guys here that we’re fortunate to have on our team that care a lot for what’s happened. There’s no doubt that it’s affected us individually, personally. Certainly would like to be a group that can do something that can really help this city get through it.”