BostonBruins.com – It was a wild day for the Boston Bruins.
At 1:40 on Monday afternoon, the Black & Gold stood proud as President Obama congratulated the team on its Stanley Cup Championship. Prior to the ceremony, the B’s got a glimpse of history with a tour of the first floor of the White House and it’s various rooms.
And if the day couldn’t get any better, the Bruins ran a hockey clinic for children at the Boys and Girls club in D.C. to polish off the evening.
“When you can get in here and have fun with some kids and teach them a few things with hockey, it’s always a good day,” forward Chris Kelly said. “[The kids didn’t ask] any questions really, they just want to go and have fun and smack the ball around and we found someone to put on the goalie gear and he’s doing a great job – it’s a lot of fun.”
Boston Bruins forward Rich Peverley took a step out of his usual character and donned some goalie pads to guard the net, while Adam McQuaid didn’t break stride and challenged the kids on defense.
Meanwhile, forwards Daniel Paille and Milan Lucic provided some fundamental lessons.
“I haven’t played yet, me and Luch [Lucic] are here trying to get the basic stick handling technique,” Paille said. “We’re just going through cones right now and maybe we’ll switch and get a game going.”
While Kelly wasn’t teaching hockey, he reflected on his visit to the White House earlier in the day.
“Obviously it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to go the White House – I thought it was a big thrill for all of us today,” Kelly said.
And much like the rest of the team, Paille was taken aback by the size of the White House and everything it had to offer.
“It was as big as I’d imagine it’d be, I couldn’t believe how many rooms there were,” Paille said. “We just saw the one floor, so I couldn’t imagine the whole thing but it was a great experience for all of us, I think we enjoyed it.”
Zdeno Chara said he was honored when he was mentioned in President Obama’s speech, but more importantly he was happy to bring a smile to the children’s faces.
“Well for the most, I think they’re having a lot of fun,” Chara said. “They’re excited – they smile and that’s the most important. It’s been great, we had a great day visiting the White House and meeting Mr. President and doing something we had no idea we could do on an everyday basis.”
--- Anthony Gulizia