Bruins icon Rene Rancourt has been keeping busy in the office. The 73 year old (soon to be 74) who belts out the anthems at TD Garden before each home game, has broadened his stellar resume to weddings.
On an incredibly EMOTIONAL night at TD Garden, Bostonians, Americans & Bruins fans sang their hearts out during the national anthem. Whether you were in the building or at home watching on television, you could not help but feel overwhelmed with sorrow, happiness and patriotism.
Blue & Yellow…
Red White & Blue….
Black & Gold….
Here are the sights and sounds of an emotional night for Boston & America.
With their third win of the young season on Friday night, the Bruins have gained seven out of a possible eight points to begin the season.
Anyone looking for a different way to spend a Friday night got their money’s worth during this one. The absence of Garden legend Rene Rancourt singing the national anthem was just about the only complaint any of the 17,565 screaming fans could have had about this end-of-the-week match-up.
Through three games, the 2013 Boston Bruins have yet to lose at home after a 4-2 victory over the visiting Islanders last night at TD Garden. Another home game and another two points for the B’s, who sit atop the Northeast Division and the Eastern Conference with seven out of a possible eight points to open the abbreviated season.
Just ask Claude Julien what the Bruins did well in this one. “Net drive,” he’ll say, as the sixth-year head coach preaches that to his 20 players all game and season long.
Though The Garden was quiet at the start of this one, much like it was for Monday’s matinee, it came alive 4:52 into the first when Shawn Thornton knocked in a rebound to give the home team the lead. Thornton, who got into a bit of an altercation with New York’s Matt Martin during his first shift, came out the next time and buried the shot from point-blank range after Rick DiPietro made the initial save. Assists went to Daniel Paille and Dougie Hamilton on Thornton’s first of the year and first since March 27th of last year.
Bruins and Rangers face off in tonight’s season opener in Boston
At the beginning of this 48 game schedule, the Bruins and Rangers face off twice in three games. At the end of this 48 game schedule, there is a very good chance that the Rangers and Bruins will face off again as both teams are expected to finish atop of the Eastern Conference. The Bruins and Rangers both made the playoffs last year and they both had their seasons end abruptly. Neither team reached their full potential as the Bruins lost to the Capitals in the first round and the Rangers lost to the Devils in the conference finals. I expect these two teams to meet in this year’s conference finals with the winner moving on to win Lord Stanley’s Cup. However, they must first meet tonight at 7pm in front of a raucous Bruins crowd.
Having an early exit in the playoffs doesn’t come as a huge surprise as most Stanley Cup Champions have a hangover the season following a long championship run. Now the Bruins have had an extra long offseason in which they could regroup, reassess, and get healthy. Benefitting from the lockout perhaps more than any other player is Bruins right winger Nathan Horton.
Nathan Horton won’t shy away from being physical now that he is healthy
All reports indicate that Horton is one hundred percent heading into this season as he has been able to fully recover from the concussion that ended his season early in the 2011-2012 season. Missing Horton last season was a major blow to the Bruins success as he has been a key player since joining the team. He may have been the playoff MVP in 2011 if not for Thomas’ record season and a player I refuse to name taking a cheap shot on Horton in game three of the Stanley Cup Finals. Horton is one of those players you love to have on your team as he isn’t afraid to get physical in the dirty areas around the ice and he can score goals with the best of them. Being married to a Playboy bunny is bonus points. The point is that the Bruins have Horton back this year and it makes them that much stronger on offense and defense.
Perhaps Hamilton can teach us how to Dougie
Another player that will be added to this already deep and dangerous Bruins lineup is 19-year old, 6-foot-5, Canadian defensemen Dougie Hamilton. The Bruins drafted Hamilton ninth overall in the 2011 draft and he has been surrounded by hype ever since. Hamilton has dominated players in the Ontario league but now he will be tested at the NHL level. Being extremely talented, yet young and immature, Hamilton is expected to be paired with Dennis Seidenberg to gain confidence and get comfortable with the speed of the NHL. There is little doubt that Hamilton will have a successful NHL career, whether or not he will succeed this year remains to be seen. He will be tested early as he will be asked to defend a talented Rangers lineup including Marion Gaborik, Rick Nash, and Brad Richards, amongst others.
The Bruins faithful were out in full force tonight as most of the night saw many fans shoulder to shoulder, donned in black and gold, just happy to celebrate the return of their beloved Boston Bruins.
CSNNE‘s A. Sherrod Blakely stopped by the party, and despite admitting to only having gone to one Bruins game, was still impressed by the turnout of the fans. “The Bruins are obviously a big deal in Boston” said Blakely “It’s a great, great atmosphere”. He wasn’t kidding, over 600 fans packed into the Harp Thursday night for the event.
“When I used to cover the ACC in North Carolina, the fans were very rowdy” Blakely continued “Bruins fans remind me of that, they become a part of the game”.
Among the many Bruins die-hards in attendance was a man with a Viking’s helmet and a shield sporting the Bruins’ logo, a gentleman with a fake beard and a Winter Classic jersey with Eddie Shore’s number 2 on the back, and an uncountable amount of Bruins jerseys featuring the numbers of current, former, and retired players.
Those in attendance were treated to an early preview of something they knew all too well. Rene Rancourt sang his rendition of the star spangled banner for the crowd prompting them to sing along. He then said he would be singing the Canadian anthem Saturday in French asking “anyone in here speak French?”. One man in the crowd could and Rancourt gave him the mic. After allowing the fan to sing a few lines Rene took the mic back and said to the crowd “Let’s throw this guy out of here”.