|Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) greets Bruins Hall of Famer Milt Schmidt, right, as Bobby Orr looks on during ceremonies honoring Schmidt prior to Boston's 2-0 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs in an NHL hockey game in Boston on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) |
Schmidt, 92, was celebrated by the sold out TD Garden crowd for his 75 years of association with the Bruins.
"You know, it being Milt Schmidt night, the best thing we could do for him I think was to get a win tonight, and so we were trying hard to get a good result," said goalie Tim Thomas
, who earned a 20-save shutout. "I mean, just listening to the accomplishments that the man has had as part of the Bruins organization -- he deserved the win tonight, so we were focusing on that."
Center Patrice Bergeron
, who scored his 100th NHL goal in the first period, said the personal accomplishment paled in comparision to the win.
"I’m more happy I think to get that win for Mr. Schmidt for everything that he’s done; [everything] that he’s accomplished throughout his life," said Bergeron. "I think he needed that.
"He deserved it."
The Bruins assistant captain has often talked about his love for the Bruins organization and the people who have served the Black & Gold.
"Every time you get those nights, you want those wins," said Bergeron, a B's assistant captain who recently extended his contract with Boston. "[Milt Schmidt is] a person I respect so much, everything he’s accomplished.
"If you look at the video before he went on the ice, it’s amazing. He was there for [four of] the Cups. It’s something unbelievable so I’m just happy to have a chance to share that by being on the bench [during the ceremony] and have a chance to...do something and get that win," he said.
|Milt Schmidt, left, a former Boston Bruin and a hockey Hall of Famer, gets the honor of raising his number to the rafters prior to the Bruins' NHL hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Boston on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson) |
Even a relative newcomer to Boston Bruins hockey like Dennis Seidenberg
was touched by the Schmidt celebration.
"It was great," said Seidenberg. "I mean, just being part of an organization with so much history -- I should know more about it -- but it’s just so much and coming from Germany, you never really get to experience the whole way of hockey over here, especially the Bruins.
"So just seeing all those pictures and those clips of him and the success he had in this organization is great."
Asked if the Black & Gold may have been sluggish in the first period due to the length of the Schmidt celebration, Boston Head Coach Claude Julien instead talked about his B's being inspired by the pregame activities.
"I think everybody was honored to be part of that ceremony," Julien said in an unequivocal tone.
"There’s a gentleman that we talked about this morning, Milt Schmidt, who we have tremendous respect for.
"If anything, we would have given him all the time he wanted. If anything, we had talked about before the game, when you’re honored like that, the best way to make it a perfect night is to go out there and win a hockey game for him.
"I think our guys really wanted to do that and make it a perfect night for him," he said.