With no scheduled practice on Monday, Bruins players Tuukka Rask
and Benoit Pouliot
used the day off to visit children in the cardiac unit at Tufts Medical Center.
The B’s players and several cardiac patients talked Super Bowl results, hockey, and Valentine’s Day as they carefully crafted heart-shaped cards in the spirit of heart health and the upcoming holiday.
Cards were handed to appreciative family members, and the kids later collaborated to make a card for the team that read “Go B’s!” on the front, with each patient’s signature inside.
Pouliot explained that despite his admittedly poor arts and crafts skills, he still enjoyed the day.
“It’s always nice,” Pouliot said. “We don’t get to do it that often but when we do, we don’t mind doing it at all.
"It’s fun and the kids are always happy to see us.”
For Jacob, 8, of Rutland, MA, the chance to meet and spend time with Bruins players is a dream come true.
He is a diehard Bruins fan who recently attended his first game on January 10th, where he saw the Bruins defeat the Winnipeg Jets at home.
After commuting to Tufts Medical Center for eight years, Jacob’s mother, Regina, was excited to finally have a fun day at the clinic where he would be able to meet the very players he had just cheered for at the TD Garden.
“This was wonderful – absolutely wonderful to be able to do this for the kids,” she said. “It means a lot.”
After making their fair share of cards, the players signed autographs and took photos with the patients and families, many of whom were decked out in newly-signed Bruins gear.
Rask, a Tufts Medical Center visit veteran, said that he comes away with a fresh perspective after every hospital visit.
“I love this place,” Rask said. “I’ve been here maybe five times already and it’s always cool to hang out with the kids.
"You see a lot of kids who are having a tough time in their life and, you know, it makes their day good and makes your day good. So, everybody’s happy.”
Proving that Valentine’s Day cards can signify more than just romance, the kids all went home with cards meant to show support, and to keep as souvenirs to remind them of the fun day they had getting to know some of their favorite hockey players. ---Haley Steele