BOSTON - During his 11 seasons with the Bruins, Zdeno Chara has become a part of Boston's fabric. He has embraced the city and all it has to offer.
Included in that are his fellow Boston athletes. Chara has come to know many of his sports brethren from the Celtics, Red Sox, and Patriots.
Video: Bruins wish Patriots luck ahead of Super Bowl
So when the Pats take on the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday during Super Bowl LI, you can bet the Bruins' captain will be watching.
"Absolutely. It's pretty obvious we are connected, knowing some guys, some players over the course of the past 12 years," said Chara.
"It's been an absolute pleasure to watch them perform and keep getting up there to the Super Bowls and doing so well. For sure, we are 100 percent behind them and cheering for them."
The Bruins showed their support following Friday's practice by wearing Patriots T-shirts and hats with New England's signature slogans, 'One More' and 'Do Your Job,' around the dressing room.
"We're really excited," said Brad Marchand. "It's a huge moment for, not only the Pats, but for us, for all of Boston. We'll be cheering them on and expecting a big win."
Even David Backes, a Minnesota native and longtime member of the St. Louis Blues, got into the spirit.
"It's great to see the local teams have success," said Backes, who predicted a 31-17 New England victory. "It's been a pretty easy team to root for. Certainly a bandwagon jumper. I'm on the wagon for good now. This is fun to watch them play on a regular basis."
On the other side of things, Dorchester native Jimmy Hayes, a lifelong Pats fan, is used to seeing his team on the biggest stage.
"It's a game you always look forward to every year," said Hayes, while calling for a 35-21 Patriots win. "Being fortunate enough to be a fan of the Patriots, it's a game that they usually get to.
"I'm rooting for Tom Brady to get his fifth all time [championship] and continue his legacy."