Bruins Excited to Spend St. Patrick’s Day in Boston, Though Which Players Are Actually Irish May Surprise

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Bruins Excited to Spend St. Patrick's Day in Boston, Though Which Players Are Actually Irish May SurpriseWILMINGTON, Mass. — So let’s just get the scorecards straight for St. Patrick’s Day.

The guy named Kelly on the Bruins isn’t Irish. But the French-speaking guy named Bergeron? There’s your real Irishman.

It’s a little confusing, but don’t worry. Everybody’s Irish on St. Patty’s Day.

The Bruins haven’t had a lot to celebrate lately, but they’re hoping a return home to Boston timed to coincide with the biggest day on the Irish calendar when they host Philadelphia on Saturday will help change that.

“It is nice to be in Boston for it,” Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said. “Huge game tomorrow to be excited about, and [St. Patrick’s Day] is another reason to be excited for tomorrow.”

One part of Bergeron is especially excited. See, his full name, and the name he proudly had engraved in full on the Stanley Cup last summer, is Patrice Bergeron-Cleary, with his father’s family hailing from the Emerald Isle.

“My dad’s side is all Irish,” Bergeron said. “So we celebrate that day obviously.”

“It’s always fun,” Bergeron added. “It’s always a fun day for the Cleary side of me I guess. It’s always very special here in Boston. There’s so many Irish people here, so it’s always great.”

Fellow Bruins center, but not fellow Irishman, Chris Kelly is equally excited about the chance to spend his first St. Patrick’s Day in Boston, even if he did have to admit that despite his Irish-sounding name, he’s not actually Irish at all.

“I’m Scottish, all Scottish,” Kelly said. “Both of my parents came over right before I was born. I go back to Scotland a lot. I use to go back every summer as a kid. I have a lot of family there and I’ve been back there a bunch of times as an adult. Obviously with the name Christopher Kelly that’s an extremely Irish name, but I’m Scottish. But Irish and Scottish people are pretty similar.”

If Kelly is representative, then Scottish people seem to like the idea of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Boston almost as much as the Irish do.

“Obviously there’s no better place to spend St. Patty’s Day than Boston,” Kelly said. “Maybe in Ireland, but then again, maybe not. I’ve never been in Boston for St. Patrick’s Day and obviously it’s a big holiday here with so many Irish people here.”

Kelly isn’t sure exactly what to expect on Saturday, and at least one of his Irish teammates isn’t willing to give him any hints.

“No, he hasn’t, maybe he’s keeping it a secret,” Kelly said when asked if Shawn Thornton had told him what St. Patrick’s Day in Boston is like.

But Kelly is looking forward to the unknown all the same. “Just to see the city and be a part of it, it will be something special,” Kelly said.

Have a question for Douglas Flynn? Send it to him via Twitter at @douglasflynn or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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