The City of Boston has gotten used to winning things over the last decade years or so, but until June, the Bruins were the one team that had yet to join the party. That all changed when they won the Stanley Cup over the Vancouver Canucks, and man, did they relish in the moment.
Dancing around the Rogers Arena ice in June wasn't enough. Dancing through the streets of Boston a few days later wasn't enough. Each member of the team spending an entire day (or in some cases, two days) with the Cup on their own wasn't enough. No, the Bruins entered TD Garden with the Cup on Thursday night before their home opener against the Philadelphia Flyers, passed it off one-by-one yet again, and then 10 minutes and a TV commercial break later, started the actual ceremony part of the evening.
After a number of speeches, a mini-ceremony honoring Mark Recchi, and a procession of Old Heroes clearly modeled after similar drawn out ceremonies by the Montreal Canadiens, the banner finally raised to the rafters. It was time to play hockey. The Flyers came out to the ice 32 minutes after the initial scheduled puck drop, and for the visiting team in particular, the effects showed.
Maybe it was the extra adrenaline from the ceremony, but the Bruins jumped all over the Flyers in the first ten minutes of the first period, picking them apart defensively and ultimately scoring by doing the same thing on a power play on a beautiful strech pass to from Tyler Seguin to Brad Marchand.
From there, though, the Flyers settled in. The defense, one of the best in the NHL and a unit the team will heavily rely on all season long, calmed down. The offense, led by the top unit of Claude Giroux, Jaromir Jagr and James van Riemsdyk, stepped it up. And the team's new goaltender, Ilya Bryzgalov, shined in what turned out to be limited action the rest of the way.
Jagr scored his 1,600th career point with a power play assist on a Giroux goal in the final minute of the period, and with three seconds to go in the period, Jakub Voracek threw a rebound opportunity on net that beat Tim Thomas to give Philly a 2-1 lead they'd never relinquish.