BOSTON, MA – After a swift 45-minute practice this morning at TD Garden, the Bruins headed off to Chicago where they will begin the Stanley Cup Final against the Blackhawks on Wednesday night.
But before the team made their way to the Logan Airport-bound buses awaiting in the Garden parking lot, the Bruins were treated to quite the sendoff from roughly 1,000 screaming fans that packed into the Level Two concourse.
The B’s passed through the sea of Black & Gold, some with luggage in tow, handing out high-fives and stopping to chat with the media, as pump-up music blared overhead and the fans chanted ‘We want the Cup’ and ‘Let’s go Bruins.’
In 2011, the sendoff was held outdoors in the parking lot, but due to the inclement weather, this year’s event was moved inside.
“It’s awesome getting the fans here and packed the whole time, and it’s louder because we're indoors,” said B’s forward Daniel Paille. “But it’s definitely awesome to see the support that we get from our fans.”
“I really wasn’t expecting this many people here, but it’s a lot of fun to see,” added Brad Marchand. “It really gets us excited to get out there and get things under way.”
Defenseman Torey Krug is one of the few current Bruins who did not experience the team’s Cup run in 2011, but he witnessed from afar the passion that Boston shows for its sports teams and knew he wanted to be apart of it. Now, the 22-year-old Michigan native is getting to see the support firsthand.
“The market here in Boston is unbelievable,” said the rookie, who with four goals has been a revelation for the Bruins this postseason. “It is one of the reasons I came here, the fan support. You hear how loud the building is every night that we play. So walking through this crowd is amazing.
“When I first got here, obviously they had just come off winning the Stanley Cup and the crowds were amazing. I come here and it was the loudest crowds I have heard live. It’s amazing the fan support we have here.”
For the next few days, however, the Bruins will be in enemy territory, away from their rabid fan base, which will make things even sweeter when they return home for Games Three and Four early next week.
“I think they got more fans seating in there,” said Paille of the United Center, the Hawks’ home rink. “We hear that it gets pretty loud too, but I’m sure it’ll be just as loud, if not louder, when we get back here.
“We’re definitely going to be excited when we get a chance to come back here.”