BOSTON – It's been a difficult week for this city, and the Boston Bruins wanted to do whatever they could to ease that burden.
With two games rescheduled in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings Monday, the Bruins took to the TD Garden ice Saturday afternoon, knowing the manhunt that locked down the city Friday had been successful.
"I think it was a little more of a celebration with everyone here [Saturday]," Bruins forward Brad Marchand said following a 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. "More of an opportunity for us to thank them and give our respects for the amazing job they did with taking those guys into custody and cleaning up the streets pretty much.
Shawn Thornton wears a Massachusetts
State Police hat for warmups.(Click to enlarge) Photo: Brian Babineau/NHLI
"It just seems like there's a whole different aura around the building [Saturday]. Everyone was a little more safe and excited that it's over."
The Bruins lost to the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2, here on Wednesday, after their game scheduled for Monday against the Ottawa Senators was rescheduled to next week.
Saturday, the Bruins had another opportunity to pay tribute to the heroes of the past five days.
Players took the pregame warm-up wearing hats that honored the Watertown, Boston and Massachusetts State Police, who teamed up to catch the remaining suspect in suburban Watertown.
When faceoff neared, the Bruins took the ice with the lights dimmed for the second straight game. A video tribute featured scenes from the marathon, but many more from the suspect's capture and the celebration throughout the region Friday.
"I think the Bruins did a great job of giving respect for those people, and we got to meet them after the last game and shake their hand, take some pictures and get to talk to them," forward Shawn Thornton said. "I think there were 70 or 80 first responders. And I think you can never say 'Thanks' enough to those people."
There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.
— San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on his team's approach entering training camp