BOSTON (CBS) – The final piece to the 2011 Stanley Cup Championship puzzle is in place for the Boston Bruins.
With the banner up in the Garden rafters, the book is officially closed on last season, and the B’s are focused on 2011-12.
But even they have to admit, it was a heck of a party before their 2-1 season opening loss to the Flyers.
“It was an emotional night; it was a special night,” said Patrice Bergeron, who was happy they got to share the moment with the 1972 Bruins. “It’s the last step that we needed to get done and get over with, and now we need to move forward.”
In addition to sharing the moment with greats like Bobby Orr, Milt Schmidt and Derek Sanderson, Thursday night also gave the Bruins a chance to share one last memory with some former teammates.
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“The pregame was awesome. Just to be on the ice one more time with Shane Hnidy and Mark Recchi, to share that with them,” said netminder Tim Thomas.
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“That was very nice. It was obviously very emotional, very exciting for us,” said defenseman Zdeno Chara. “I thought they did a really good job to put up a nice presentation.”
The Bruins also had a chance to raise the cup in front of their home fans, something they didn’t get to do after clinching the championship in Vancouver in June.
“We’re all pretty happy to lift that over our head on the home ice. I thought that was pretty cool that they thought to do that,” said forward Shawn Thornton. “Our fans are pretty intense and have been behind us the whole time I’ve been here. For us to be able to do that in front of them is pretty special.”
“Just to look around as people were raising the cup. At the time it happens it turns into a bit of a blur because you’re so tired. (Last night) I was a little bit better rested,” said Thomas.
But now that the banner is resting next to the five other Bruins titles, last season is officially in the past.
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“It was just a matter of time when this would all happen. Now we’re moving on,” said the B’s captain.
After an emotional ceremony, the Bruins went out and played a very good first 18-minutes. After that, they went a little flat.
“We definitely know we could have been better,” said Thornton. “The first 15 minutes I thought we came out unbelievable. They cap on a couple chances and we were battling uphill the rest of the way. We had a few chances to capitalize and we didn’t. I think that’s the game in a nutshell.”
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“Towards the end of the first you could see we lost that little jump, and that carried over into the second period,” said Chara. “That was probably our worst 20 of the 60. In the third we picked it up and we had great opportunities to score, we just didn’t put them in.”
“It’s tough. That emotion, hockey is a game of momentum changes,” said Brad Marchand, who scored the Bruins only goal of the night. “It’s not always in your favor. We may have gotten too high there. When it went back to the other side, we have to kind of take it back from them; we never really did.”
“We still have a great team,” said Marchand. “We lost the first game last year too. It’s a long season; we’re still trying to get back into things here. (There are) still lots of great things, lots of great players. We just have to make sure we put it all together.”
98.5 The Sports Hub is the only place to hear every game of the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins 2011-12 NHL season with Dave Goucher and Bob Beers. Pregame coverage begins 30 minutes before the puck drops, with Postgame coverage following each game.