Cheers are usually hard to come by if you’re working in left field at Fenway Park and wearing the uniform of a team other than the Red Sox. That wasn’t the case for Nate Moulter Saturday afternoon. Moulter, a Red Sox employee clad in a Boston Bruins jersey, was working in the Green Monster scoreboard, updating fans on the Bruins–Montreal Canadiens playoff game at TD Garden.
Moulter got one of the biggest roars of the day when he came out between innings to let the crowd know the B’s had finished off another impressive comeback to even the series at one win apiece.
“Even before the guy behind the wall in the Bruins jersey came out, the crowd reaction told us what was taking place,” said Red Sox Manager John Farrell. “We were just kind of marveling. The fans here are into everything. When the people that are in the ballpark here are playing close attention to what’s going on down at the Garden, it just is an example of how passionate they are and how in tune they are with all sports and all teams in this city. With each number that was hung on the scoreboard obviously the reaction got louder and it makes for not only a unique but I think kind of a special day here in Boston.”
Over the past 14 years we’ve had a lot of those “special days” here in Boston, enough to bring eight championships to the city in that stretch. Every team has at least one title in that span, and the Bruins have a very real shot at bringing another one to town.
The B’s have made a habit of improbable comebacks. Saturday’s stunning stretch of hockey – three goals in 5:32 of the third period to rally from a 3-1 deficit – would go down in the annals of many teams as the greatest playoff comeback of all time. For the Bruins, it was only their best comeback in a year.
The rally in Game 7 of last year’s first-round series with the Toronto Maple Leafs trumps all playoff rallies. The Bruins survived and went on to play for the Stanley Cup. They lost in six games in their second trip to the championship in three years.
There was a time that making it to the last series of the year would’ve been enough to pacify most Bruins fans. After all, the team went from 1990 to 2011 without winning a conference championship.
Those days are long gone. Anything short of an appearance in the last game of the season is a disappointment to Boston fans. That doesn’t just hold true for the Bruins; the same can be said for the Red Sox and Patriots. The Celtics are rebuilding and have fallen off the radar screen for the time being. They’ll get a pass until the NBA draft in late June.
For now, expectations are running high on the ice and in the field. Sox fans are grumbling one month into the season because the defending champs are two games below .500. There is unrest in the stands at Fenway – even though the Sox are just two games back in the tightly packed American League East.
Meanwhile, the addition of defensive back Darrelle Revis to the Patriots already has us thinking about a return to the Super Bowl. New England will be looking for its sixth AFC Championship in 14 years.
We’ll be watching closely later this week when the Pats go on the clock during the NFL draft, adding depth to what is already one of the strongest teams in the NFL.
In the meantime, the Bruins are on the clock as their series resumes in Montreal Tuesday night. The pressure’s on – after all, it’s been six long months since we had a duck boat parade in Boston. How much longer are we supposed to wait?
Tom Caron is the studio host for Red Sox broadcasts on NESN. His column appears in the Press Herald on Tuesdays.