For the first time in six years, I had the chance to attend Bruins opening night at TD Garden, the first home puck drop of the new season. Not only did the night mark the start of a new chapter in Bruins history but major milestones for two Boston legends. Marking the 50th and 80th anniversaries of their Boston debuts respectively, two of the greatest Bruins to ever live, Bobby Orr and Milt Schmidt, made their way onto the ice after player introductions for the ceremonial puck drop.
The oldest living Hall of Famer and former NHL player, Schmidt at 98 years strong made his Bruins debut (for context) the year the Hindenburg caught fire and Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind was published. Schmidt was pushed out to center ice in his wheelchair by the greatest Bruin of the next generation who he helped bring to Boston fifty years prior. 4 and 15 were joined by captains Zdeno Chara and Andy Green before Schmidt dropped the puck to commence game one.
In true Bruins fashion, after outplaying and out-shooting the Devils through a 0-0 first period, the foot came off the gas a bit in the second, allowing New Jersey's offensive chances to surge. Going down 0-1 early in the third, the top line took care of business with the tying goal from Marchand and late game winner from Patrice Bergeron with just over a minute to spare.
Having Orr and Schmidt on the ice undoubtedly helped set the tone for the game to follow. For fans, seeing two generations of Bruins legends on the ice with current greats and future Hall of Famers like Bergeron was truly a sight to see, and it had to have been felt by the players as well. The Bruins are off to a solid 3-1 coming off a great first win at home, so here's to carrying the momentum forward into the rest of the season.
See you at the Garden,