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"Shirts off our backs" Celebrates the Fan

Boston's faithful packed the house for the regular season finale and got something back in return

Sunday, 04.06.2008 / 12:40 PM / Features
By Angela Stefano  - BostonBruins.com
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\"Shirts off our backs\" Celebrates the Fan
Boston, MA -- Boston sports fans have a reputation for being dedicated, involved, and, well, "fanatic" when it comes to the teams they support.

But don’t ever let it be said that the players don’t return the favor.  In fact, the Boston Bruins go so far as to give some lucky fans the shirts off their backs.

At the end of Saturday night’s Bruins game, the final regular-season game for this season, the Black & Gold capped off a night dubbed “Fan Appreciation Night” by giving away their autographed, game-worn jerseys.

“It’s pretty fitting [as we look ahead to the playoffs] because we’re trying to give something back to the people who’ve stuck with us,” said Andrew Ference.

They Black & Gold are only continuing a long-standing tradition that teams have held for years.  Milan Lucic remembered watching the Vancouver Canucks doing giving away their jerseys when he was younger.

“It’s great as a fan receiving something like [a jersey] that’s yours forever,” he said.

Twenty-six B’s fans, some season ticket holders and some chosen at random, filed onto the ice after the last buzzer sounded, clutching Sharpie markers and sealed envelopes.  Standing on the ice under the Garden lights, they pulled a piece of paper out of their envelopes one-by-one, revealing the name of the player whose jersey they would receive.

Kaileigh Lessard, 7, and her father Rich, both from Lynn, MA, were chosen out of the crowd to participate in the event. 

“It’s great, the way they do everything [these nights],” said Rich.  “It changes every year, but it’s definitely a good time every time.”

Kaileigh, who donned a foam bear hat, said she enjoyed cheering during the game.

After opening their envelope, the Lessards were greeted by Ference.   

Christine Lucius of Boxford, MA, walked off the ice with Tim Thomas’s jersey.  Her husband has bid on a chance to participate at the Charity Auction in February.

“I think it’s great what they do to give back to the fans all season long,” she said.  “It’s just wonderful.”

The players themselves return the feeling, calling the fans, as Lucic has, the best sports fans in the world.

“I think [the Garden] was really packed, even right at the start of the game,” said Luch.  “It’s real awesome to see…and we’re going to see what we saw tonight and much more in the playoffs.”

Of course, having a city with so many winning sports teams helps. And now, with the B's returning to the playoffs, Boston's fans have teams participating in the postseason in all five major sports.

Not too many cities can boast baseball, basketball, football, hockey and soccer teams (and not to mention a college hockey team) in the playoffs over a matter of only a few months.

“They’re probably the luckiest,” said Ference.  “All of their teams, they’re good.”
Well said, Andrew. Well said.

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
4 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
5 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
6 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
7 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
8 BUF 49 14 32 3 92 174 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 48 12 21 5 33
C. Soderberg 49 10 21 8 31
L. Eriksson 48 11 18 7 29
M. Lucic 48 10 18 10 28
D. Hamilton 49 8 19 1 27
R. Smith 49 10 16 8 26
B. Marchand 44 13 12 11 25
T. Krug 45 10 15 7 25
D. Krejci 29 6 18 9 24
C. Kelly 47 5 16 6 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
N. Svedberg 5 5 0 .922 2.22
T. Rask 21 11 7 .920 2.34
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