I am getting more and more melancholy as the day goes on.
With the end of the Bruins season just a few hours away, it’s as if I am on some amazing hockey based vacation and the real world is catching up with me. And, even though I don’t plan on going anywhere, as I get ready for my last regular season game, I catch myself feeling sadder and sadder.
On my way around the room this morning, I ran into a bunch of guys who looked, and sounded, like they felt sad, too.
"Playing at this level is a dream come true," said Jeff Hoggan. "And obviously the history of the Boston Bruins made it even more special.
"It could be my last time wearing the jersey tonight -- you never know.
"So, you gotta play with pride and (know) that you enjoyed every minute that I got the opportunity to represent (the Bruins)," he said.
With a smile, that certainly didn’t mask the emotion of the moment, Hoggan added: "Maybe I can give (the fans) a little something tonight and maybe get (a goal) here."
Tear jerking stuff for sure, because I know that Hoggan, like a lot of the players in the room, wear their heart on their sleeve and are truly honored to wear Black & Gold and represent Boston in the NHL.
Another one of those guys is local boy Bobby Allen, who was an outstanding host for the Medford hockey squad this morning, answering every question and signing anything the kids threw at him.
Here was another example of a guy who bleeds Black & Gold.
"Certainly, the Spoked-B means something to me, personally," said the Bruins fan turned Bruins player. "I’ve been a Bruins fan since I learned how to play hockey and if you grow up in this city and if you play hockey around this area, the Bruins become a part of you.
"They represent the hockey community in the New England area and for me, this year, to be able to play for the team (shakes head, looks around the locker room) -- I think it is just starting to sink in as the year comes to a close."
Bobby thought some more and continued.
"The season’s over and I won’t be able to put the jersey on anymore and I don’t know what is going to happen next year," he said. "So I am just trying to relish these last few moments."
Recovering his train of thought, and perhaps thinking about the fulfillment of his dream to play with Boston, Bobby said, "It’s certainly been a thrill and I will always look back fondly at this experience."
To give my emotions a rest I ran to find Shean Donovan, a person who should wear a smiley face t-shirt at all times, in order to raise my spirits.
"Today’s a big game," said Dono. "Ottawa is fighting for playoff positioning, trying to get home ice.
"We know we have to play our best game…they are coming out here (ready).
"So if guys think they are going to sit guys, or something like that, because it’s the last game of the year -- it’s not like that," said Donovan.
Donovan, to my surprise, also tiptoed into Bobby Allen’s thoughtful territory. He too, talked about how much he wanted to be a Bruin as a child and the immense satisfaction he has garnered wearing the B. But, like everyone in the room, Donovan is dissatisfied with missing the playoffs.
"(Tonight) it’s about pride," he said. "It’s about playing hard."
"There will be a good crowd here, like every night, and we need to work hard…
"And obviously we have to build over the summer and get better," he said.
Speaking of his Black & Gold sweater, Donovan echoed his sentiments from earlier in the year.
"It’s awesome (being a Bruin)," he said. "I have always wanted to be a Bruin and we’re not too happy with the results this season -- that’s for sure. But, you know what, it was a transition season."
What’s the bottom line?
"We know we have to get better," said Shean. "If in the off season everybody steps it up one level, then we will be in the playoffs.
"And that should be the whole goal.
"Because once you get into the big dance, anything could happen," he said.
Well, just like the season, that was an emotional roller coaster of a blog.
Good luck to Jeff, Bobby, Shean and the rest of Our Boys, tonight.