If there was ever a night for the Bruins to pull through and win one at the Garden, it was obviously Wednesday. But if there was ever a night for Boston not to ultimately care that B’s coughed up another late lead, it was obviously Wednesday.
The end result of last night’s game was disappointing because we all wanted the Bruins to win. We all expected them to win. Not only because they are the better team, but because who could lose in front of that crowd? With all the emotions in that building? Especially when, more than any other team in Boston, so many of the Bruins actually live in Boston.
When Daniel Paille put the B’s on the board five minutes in, I just assumed his goal was the first of many. That the Sabres would become paralyzed by the atmosphere (and maybe even guilt) as the B’s built up a three-, four-, or screw it, a 17-goal lead. Isn’t that how the story was supposed to go?
Maybe, but this week is all about stories not going the way they should. Horror movies don’t have fairy tale endings. And even if the Bruins did win, it wouldn’t have meant a thing (or not enough) to the people who have been truly, directly affected by this tragedy. Win or lose, the final score wouldn’t have changed all that much for those who matter most.
But even in defeat, that national anthem will be with us forever.
First of all, so much respect to Rene Rancourt for having the crowd sing along. He could have made that moment about him. That could have been the defining anthem of his illustrious career. And you know what? It still was. But it defined him as a great man, as opposed to just a great performer. And so much respect to all those in attendance, who represented the city so well.
It’s a scene that none of us, whether we were in the stands or on the couch, will ever forget. It’s a memory that will survive long past Wednesday’s shootout. Boston has a long road ahead. For some of us, that road is a lot longer than others. But no matter what happens next, it can only help to go at it together. And last night’s anthem, if nothing else, was a clear sign that that’s what we’re prepared to do.
A win would have been great last night. But the anthem — and the two days before it — made it very easy to keep the loss in perspective.
Note: Starting tomorrow, this blog will start the slow transition back to normalcy with an NBA Playoff Preview. I’m looking forward to digging into this Celtics/Knicks series. It has a chance to be a great one. And I look forward to trying to produce some material that might serve as a temporary distraction from all the madness and tragedy of this week. But I’ll do it with a heavy heart. My thoughts remain with the family and friends of the victims.