Needless to say, the Bruins were buoyed and boosted by the boisterous crowd last night.
I must say that I actually was a little too excited to get my pre game routine finished on time.
The Bruins fans answered the bell last night in an amazing way. One hour before the game, the Black & Gold faithful were chanting "Let’s go Bruins" and booing down chants of Bleu, Blanc et Rouge
clad fans chanting "Go, Habs, Go!"
It was the kind of night that everyone involved in professional sports lives for.
End of story.
If I could take that feeling with me for the rest of the season, the long nights would seem that much shorter and the dark nights driving home after the game, that much brighter and I am sure all of my colleagues in the Garden and all of the players in the room would agree.
In fact, all of the Bruins players and coaches were talking about the crowd last night.
"It was great," said center Wayne Primeau, with a huge smile on his face. "When you have fans come out and right from warm up it was loud -- it’s like a playoff atmosphere.
"It really gets the guys going."
"It felt really good," said Tim Thomas
of the warm reception.
"It was a great crowd out there. It was our best crowd of the year and that helped me to get into the game early.
"It was great. It was the best atmosphere that we have had all year. And it was so exciting that in the first period I actually had to calm myself down.
"I was too pumped up!" explained Thomas.
And the players could hear what was going on in the bowl before they emerged from the locker room. Thomas tried to explain.
"Just going out for warm ups you could tell (what was happening)," said Tim. "Actually I started to settle myself down then.
"It was an exciting feeling…you know.
"You don’t want to get too fired up. You still need to concentrate. I’m a goalie and I can’t just feed off total emotion…it’s a balance for a goalie, you have to keep your wits about you," he said.
Thankfully, however, for Tim and the entire Bruins organization, the fans did not keep their wits. The noise and enthusiasm was downright incredible.
"It felt great," continued Thomas. "It was great to have the crowd have your back.
"I could even see it in the players’ jump in warm ups. They were shooting harder. They were just excited to play.
"We try to be excited all of the time, but the crowd definitely helps," he concluded.
Brad Boyes jumped on ’the Crowd’s’ bandwagon.
"We got a great crowd tonight," said the forward. "There was a lot of electricity in the building. You could feel it -- a lot of emotion.
"It was great to see."
"It was somewhat of a (playoff) atmosphere out there. People got into it," he said.
It’s fitting, however that the coach, Our Coach, had the last word.
"It had so much of an impact on our team I thought we were nervous to start the game," said Dave Lewis. "The fans had so much energy. They had passion. They were excited and it took a little while for our guys to settle in.
"It was a fabulous atmosphere to play a hockey game."
Nice job to the fans. Strong work!
Folks, I am heading to Western Mass/Northern Connecticut tonight to visit my mom (Gloria, sometimes called Bish, believe it or not), Dad (Bish, the Elder), my sis Mary (also Bish), her boyfriend Kurt, my bro Andrew (also a Bish)and his beautiful wife Stef and the Jaszek family -- Mary (gramma), Uncle Ed, Auntie Gail and Ed III and Mike.
Happy Birthday to Stef & Ed and Merry Christmas to all the members of the Bishop, Jaszek, Petrucci and Pellegrini families! I love you guys.
I hope tonight, and this entire holiday season, finds you (my beloved readers) all in loving company. I am very happy to be writing for all of you each day and I hope you enjoy my words as much as I enjoy writing them.
You readers are truly MY MVP’s
. Be safe.
Go Bruins -- Bish :)