Last night’s game wasn’t about who won and who lost. It wasn’t about dangles, snipes and big saves. It wasn’t about clinching a playoff spot for one team, while another battled to stay alive in the post season race. Last night was about two professional hockey teams coming together as one to give the fans something to cheer about for a few hours in a time where finding things to cheer about have been extremely difficult.
Without the help of the Buffalo Sabres, the 17,565-plus in attendance would have had nothing to cheer about on this bright evening.
You can dislike the Sabres all you want and frankly no one will question why. From former Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff’s whiny antics, to Ryan Miller’s feelings towards Milan Lucic, to Patrick Kaleta’s reckless get-under-your-skin play, it’s easy to understand your displeasure of the Bruins Northeast rivals, but last night when the Bruins needed some help to bring back smiles to the faces of the fans in attendance and the ones watching at home, the Sabres were there, and boy did they nail it.
After the two teams fought hard in what was an entertaining 60-plus minutes of hockey, the two teams came together as one at center ice to salute and thank the fans.
According to Andrew Ference, it was Buffalo’s Tomas Vanek who suggested the crowd salute, a classy move for sure on the Sabres behalf.
. @t_vanek26 Classy move by you and your team last night to suggest the crowd salute.
— Andrew Ference (@Ferknuckle) April 18, 2013
The move by the Sabres should come to no surprise as it was an emotional night for all involved including fellow American and Michigan native Ryan Miller.
“It’s emotional for me as well as an American even as a member of this society where we live and we’re free and you hate to see these things happen. I think transcends what nationality you are, we’re all people and it was horrible to see all the people injured and the people who died” said Miller.
“And the video right before we had to play was pretty emotional, pretty raw and I can’t imagine what everyone is going through here. Just kind of looking over your shoulder and I think first responders, people in the blast area, everyone in this city is showing tremendous character and I wouldn’t expect anything less from an American city. It just shows how great our society can be when we step up. It’s unfortunate such a horrible event has to happen.”
The Sabres and Bruins showed last night why we all love sports and what sports is really about.
“Yeah it was but it was a fun game to play in” said Sabres forward and Lynnfield Massachusetts native Brian Flynn.
“The crowd was into it, everyone was into it. Everyone wanted to play, it’s fun. I know it’s a tough circumstance but I think it helped a lot, everyone that came to the game, and I think it puts a smile on their face.”
Over the next few weeks the city of Boston will turn to the Bruins to help bring back some sort of normalcy back into their lives, and even if it was just for night, the Sabres helped begin that process.
Even though the front of their jerseys said otherwise, last night the Sabres were playing hockey for the city of Boston.