Quick To Forgive, Bruins Players and Fans Thrilled To Start NHL Season
It didn’t take long for hockey fans to forgive the grueling and inexcusable lockout that spanned almost four months between NHL players and owners.
And it took them even less time to forget all about it.
Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs came out with a statement yesterday before the Bruins and Rangers took the ice, expressing his disappointment in the lockout as well as his apologies to the fans of the NHL and most specifically, Boston fans.
“The fact that we were unable to reach an agreement until just recently is a disappointment,” Jacobs said. “I want to personally apologize to our fans and others who depend on this team for their livelihood. But these are just words. The best way to make it up to you is to play hard and win.”
For now, he’s been a man of his word.
The Bruins came out on top last night, taking a 3-1 win over the New York Rangers, after providing fans with more than two points in the first game of the season. Add two fights back-to-back from Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell, and the excitement of the first game of the season, and the atmosphere of TD Garden seemed to match some early playoff type atmosphere.
“The fans were awesome. When we did the pre-game little introductions, and all that type of stuff, it was great to see a full house,” Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. “It was great to see the fans back. As a player, you couldn’t pick a better spot than to play in Boston with the fans that we have here. I personally thank them for everything that they did here tonight.”
Lucic started the excitement, beating goaltender Henrik Lundqvist 14:14 into the first period off a rebound to the left side. This came after the last week where he was lambasted by media alleging that he did not seem to be in shape and ready for the season.
“It’s in the back of your mind about how [fans] feel, and what’s really going on,” Lucic said. “It was great to see that they put everything that happened behind them. I know for myself I don’t even like talking about it anymore. It’s great to see that’s it over and done with, and they’re excited for hockey, they’re excited to see us play, and as a player and as a team, we just want to go out there and play for them, and put the best product on the ice.”
Bruins fans were treated with two more goals in the game, and Thornton and Campbell were able to shake out some of the cobwebs in their gloves.
“Me and Soupy [Gregory Campbell] messed around for the last week and a half, wrestling on the ice,” Thornton said. “It’s not something that I really put a lot of thought into, but at the same time, you try to stay on top of it because you don’t want to get hurt either. After sparring and grappling in the summer, and with my linemate in the last couple of weeks, I felt okay. Conditioning-wise, I wasn’t really tired. It’s a lot easier than going twelve rounds.”
With the first 60-minute game of the year under the belt, the Bruins started the sprint for the next four months on the right foot. They will play against the Winnipeg Jets Monday at TD Garden with the puck dropping at 1 p.m.