BOSTON, MA – As the Boston Bruins departed TD Garden for Logan Airport this morning, they were greeted by more than one thousand roaring fans clad in black and gold.
‘We want the Cup’ chants echoed all the way down Causeway Street and news helicopters hovered above as several Bruins stopped to sign autographs and pose for pictures before hopping onto the team bus.
“It was amazing,” said Siobhan Sullivan of Everett, Massachusetts, who arrived more than two hours early to get a front-row spot. “It was just awesome. We got so many autographs. They’re really, really nice guys.”
“I mean its a lot of fun. It's always nice to interact with fans and it's a great experience for both them and us,” said Tyler Seguin.
Although the Bruins will play behind enemy lines in Chicago’s famously hostile ‘Madhouse on Madison’ on Saturday night, Patrice Bergeron believes the team will feed off the fans’ energy and carry it onto the ice for Game 5.
“We’ve always said the support we get from our fans gives us a lot of energy and motivation,” he said. “Today’s another great example.”
“It shows big support,” added captain Zdeno Chara. “They’re behind us through the whole playoffs. We really appreciate it.”
The team also hosted a send-off prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, but inclement weather forced a limited number of fans indoors. Today, however, clear skies welcomed even more of the Bruins’ faithful.
Defenseman Johnny Boychuk took notice.
“Absolutely, it’s nice to see,” said Boychuk, who leads all NHL defensemen in playoff goals with six. “I couldn’t tell you how many [fans] there was last time, but it seems like there’s a lot more this time.”
The crowd on hand also erupted with ‘Tuuuuuk’ chants as the Bruins’ goaltender made his way through the sea of fans and signed autographs. Although Rask said the team is focused solely on Game 5 right now, he’s hopeful they can hoist the Stanley Cup on Garden ice for the first time since 1970.
“It’s great. We’ve got the great fans here in Boston,” Rask said. “Hopefully, [we] get the win and have a chance to finish it at home."