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Summer Begins for the Bruins

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- A hockey team's breakup day is generally a pretty sad undertaking.

But for the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins it was a party - literally.

The B's were greeted by David Ortiz and the Red Sox in the Boston clubhouse in Fenway Park, where the Black & Gold threw out a collective first pitch to begin the Bosox game versus the Milwaukee Brewers.

"Party time!" said Ortiz as the Bruins entered with the song "Black and Yellow" playing the background.

After lots of pictures, hugs and stories the B's re-boarded Duck Boats for a trip around Fenway Park and onto the field to start the game.

"It was a great, great moment, just to be there," said center Patrice Bergeron. "All the fans were great and to meet the players as well was a good moment."

The Bruins then boarded a bus back to TD Garden where they participated in another summer tradition -- the club's annual exit interviews.

However, unlike previous years, Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said that the tone of today's interviews would be a bit different.

"Well, unfortunately I am going to have to be a little softer on these guys because they did win," he said with a chuckle. "But I will keep the real messages for a little later on."

And after the meetings with Coach Julien and General Manager Peter Chiarelli the smiles on the Bruins players' faces remained intact.

"It’s been unbelievable," said right wing Nathan Horton of the B's weekend. "It’s been a long year but it’s been a lot of fun.

"It’s nice to end the season happy, you know, because every other year you’re not. It’s a great feeling." - Andrew Ference
"Obviously, it’s all the hard work that we’ve putting in together and all the things that we’ve done together -- it all pays off."

"For two months it was go, go, go hockey, all the time," said center Chris Kelly. "Now it’s a time to relax and enjoy and reflect."

Of the reception from the city of Boston, captain Zdeno Chara said, "It’s been so much better than any of us probably expected.

"It’s been such a great, the last few days, you know, we are so thrilled for the whole fan base and obviously the City, the organization, our families, everybody really.

"Amazing," was how he described the feeling. "To walk in Fenway stadium with so much history and obviously, being there, carrying the Cup, getting a standing ovation, it’s been really an honor for us, you know, it’s just a really, really cool thing."

Many of the players said they haven't even had a moment to really experience some of the things they have seen and done over the past few days.

"It’s been really enjoyable," said defenseman Andrew Ference. "So much has happened and [the team will have to] hit up the DVR to relive some of the things, some of the moments.

"I mean it’s been more incredible than I could have ever thought it was. Even when I was a kid.

"Getting back and the parade and the reception by fans, doing the Red Sox thing today, even last night, just partying with the guys and how everyone was just in the room. And it’s nice to end the season happy, you know, because every other year you’re not. It’s a great feeling."

Now, after getting the Cup and the parade and throwing out the first pitch, the B's want one more thing -- rest.

"I think we all need some rest. We all need to, I guess, regroup. It’s been a grind, you know, I wouldn’t change it for anything, obviously, to get the trophy, but it’s been hard," said Bergeron.

"The parade yesterday was awesome. And being at the Red Sox today was nearly as awesome. So that has exceeded my expectations," said goaltender Tim Thomas. "So far it’s been incredibly busy though, and I’m incredibly tired from the playoffs already [laughs], and I’m looking forward to just getting some rest."

But from the sound of it, some of the players are willing to keep going.

"No, I haven’t slept much," said forward Shawn Thornton. "I’ll sleep next week.

"This is once in a lifetime so we’re enjoying it."

They better, because September is coming soon.
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