BOSTON — Another summer with Stanley would have been a lot of fun for members of the Bruins, but bringing the hardware back to New England would have meant a whole lot more to them than showing off the world’s greatest trophy at parties and bars.
Boston and Newtown, Conn., went through devastating tragedies this past year, and the B’s felt somewhat responsible to do their part to bring a couple of extra smiles to the region.
After losing Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final and watching the Blackhawks celebrate the series win on their ice, some members of the B’s reflected back on how important a win would have been for the area.
“At the end of the day, I think that’s what hurts the most is, in the back of our minds, we wanted to do it for those kind of reasons: the city of Boston, what Newtown has been through, that kind of stuff,” head coach Claude Julien said. “It hit close to home, and the best way we felt we could try and cheer the area was to win a Stanley Cup. I think that’s what’s hard right now for the players.
“We had more reasons than just ourselves to win a Cup.”
This past February, members of the Bruins went to Newtown to visit with the townsfolk in an attempt to lift their spirits. The B’s also invited local heroes who were affected by or were first responders at the Boston Marathon attacks to serve as fan banner captains throughout the entire playoff run.
“Well, we really felt that we wanted to play as hard as we could obviously for a number of reasons, and playing for the city was one of them,” captain Zdeno Chara said. “Obviously we tried to have a better result. It didn’t happen. But I think that we are very proud of the fans, the way they stood behind us and cheered us on.”
“We know people watch us, people like us, people cheer for us, so we want to be worth it,” Tuukka Rask added. “We made it a good run, but it’s just disappointing because we couldn’t get the Cup home and show it to the fans. We definitely left it all out there.”