Believe it or not, there are things in life that are bigger than the Boston Bruins and sports as a whole. Last Wednesday, it was one of those times as a fire that was enhanced by strong winds raced through an apartment building on Beacon Street in Boston taking the lives of two Boston fire fighters Lt. Edward J. Walsh and Michael R. Kennedy.
Hockey became irrelevant that Thursday night when the Bruins hosted the Chicago Blackhawks for the first time since the Blackhawks hoisted the Stanley Cup last June. The B’s did go on to win the game convincingly 3-0, but winning the game was second nature to most players as they wanted to extend their condolences to the families first and foremost.
During warm ups against the defending Stanley Cup champs, the B’s paid their respects by wearing “Boston Fire Department” baseball caps and winter hats instead of their helmets to show their support.
Head coach Claude Julien described the moment of silence that took place prior to the game to honor those families affected during last Wednesday’s tragedy.
After scoring two goals versus the Blackhawks in the victory, Patrice Bergeron was not named the number one star of the game nor should he have. On this night, the B’s got it right announcing the Boston Fire Department as the number one star against the Blackhawks sending the crowd into another standing ovation.
Bergeron spoke after the game on what it means to be able to win on the night after another tragedy hit real close to home.
“Yeah a lot,” Bergeron said. “It was very sad what happened yesterday. We feel like we are part of the community now as a whole and it was an important game, we thought, for us to win for all of them. Like I said, you never want to hear that. They are the heroes and we’re just here to-it puts things in perspective, I guess if you want to put it that way. Tonight was well-deserved first star.”
Goaltender Tuukka Rask recorded his seventh shutout of the year versus Jonathan Toews and the Blackhawks and was just happy his team recorded two points on a night where the city was banding together again.
“Yeah, I mean shutouts are always fun it shows you played a good defensive game,” Rask said. “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 so we’re just happy we could do a little thing like that.”
It would’ve been easy giving this week’s Player of the Week to Patrice Bergeron who seems to score every night or Jarome Iginla who has reached another 30 goal plateau in his career, but the Boston Fire Department deserves all the praise in the world for their efforts last Wednesday night into Thursday morning to make sure the lives of others were safe.
The city of Boston cannot thank you enough for your heroism. We are the ones running out while you guys are the ones running back in. You are the true heroes and we send our deepest sympathies for the loss of your brothers Lt. Edward J. Walsh and Michael R. Kennedy.