NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

June 20, 2013

Bruins' run excites city wounded by marathon bombings

BOSTON (AP) — They have come to wave flags or meet the players or just appear on the video screen, invariably to a standing ovation, during the Boston Bruins’ run to the Stanley Cup finals.

Many are in wheelchairs, some are in uniform and others have been honored on behalf of those who couldn’t make it at all.

As the Bruins attempt to win their second NHL title in three years, they have shared the spotlight with the victims and first responders from the Boston Marathon bombings, using them as “Fan Banner Captains” and first-puck honorees and otherwise attempting to comfort the stricken city.

Now, as they get closer to a championship, the Bruins are hoping that a Stanley Cup victory can contribute to the healing that has already brought the city a long way back after the attacks on its signature sporting event.

“I think we can help, in probably a large way,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said this week after the Stanley Cup finals returned to Boston for Games 3 and 4. “Everybody is looking right now for something to cheer about, smile about.

“I guess it doesn’t fix the things or the people that have been lost. That will never be fixed. At the same time you have to try to heal.”

Two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line on April 15, killing three people and injuring hundreds more. The Bruins, who had been scheduled to play that night, postponed that game but returned on Wednesday with an emotional pre-game ceremony and a gritty overtime loss that clinched a berth in the playoffs.

Since then, an organization that has long had a close relationship with the military and first-responders has brought in those who helped in the aftermath of the bombings — doctors, police and EMTs, along with marathon volunteers, runners and spectators.

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