It was a scene fresh in the heart of many Bostonians. A day later, the Bruins helped the cause with a refreshing win.
Prior to the start of Thursday’s matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks – the first meeting at the TD Garden since the infamous 17 seconds in Game 6 – the Bruins and the 17,565 in attendance honored Mike Kennedy and Lt. Ed Walsh, who both lost their lives in the 9-alarm fire on Beacon St. on Wednesday. The moment of silence for Kennedy and Walsh included a reflection of the Boston FIre Department badge at the four faceoff circles.
Moments before the moments of silence, the Black and Gold wore Boston Fire Department caps during warmups. Then, they completed it with a 3-0 victory to improve to 13-0-1 in their last 14 games.
“It’s a sad, sad day when two men lose their life like that,” said forward Chris Kelly. “If we can do a little thing to honor them, we’re more than happy to do that.
“We’re part of this community. We feel the pain that the entire city and state feel.”
Every member donning the spoked B wanted to perform well and help heal another wound. What better way to do that with a shutout against the defending Stanley Cup Champions?
The stats were pretty impressive for many. Patrice Bergeron tallied two goals and extending his streak to five straight games with at least a goal. Tuukka Rask made 25 saves and recorded his league leading seventh shutout.
Bergeron and Rask will likely be finalists for the Selke and Vezina Trophy, respectively. Still, their selflessness that was on display once again is one trait that will always be remembered, especially on this night.
“Shutouts are always fun when you play a good, defensive game, [and] definitely a night like tonight there’s a lot of firefighters in the stands and we try to honor them and win a game for them,” Rask said. “So we were happy to do just that.”
“It was very sad what happened yesterday,” Bergeron added. “We feel like we are part of a community as a whole and we thought it was an important game for us to win for all of them. They put their lives at risk and obviously with what happened, our thoughts and prayers are with their families. Like I said, you never want to hear that. They are the heroes and we’re here to just put things into perspective.”
Thursday didn’t start and end with a moment of silence and a Bruins win. The outpouring from the Black and Gold community continued all night.
The night also included Boston Fire Department presenting the nations color prior to Garden legend Rene Rancourt singing the Star Spangled Banner. Some of the firefighters in uniform were also shown on the Garden HDX during TV timeouts. And the Bruins, well they continued their support in the locker room afterwards with their postgame comments. Some, like Rask, Kelly and Zdeno Chara, wore Boston Fire Department hats and t-shirts while talking to reporters.
The Boston Fire Department was also named the first star of the game. Appropriately enough, that was the icing on the cake.
“We were trying to bring something very positive,” said head coach Claude Julien. “We know that doesn’t make things any better, but to just try and do the best you can to help heal, and again, to put some excitement into the people that were here tonight and our fans out there, that’s all you can do. Saying that, I thought the guys did a great job tonight. They really wanted to honor them the proper way, whether it was at warmup or winning the game. I think their hearts were with those families.”
The Bruins were an inspiration to help heal a wound. The firefighters, who put their lives on the line day in and day out, are the heroes. And that’s the way it should be.
See what Bergeron, Rask, Kelly, Julien and Zdeno Chara had to say about the B’s win over the Blackhawks and the Boston Fire Department being honored last night.