Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/19/13
BOSTON — The evening started with Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs sitting in front of the media, offering up yet another apology for the third NHL lockout in 20 years. And while all may not be forgotten on the part of hockey fans, Bruins fans left TD Garden on Saturday night with a reminder of just how special the game can be — you know, when it’s actually being played. The B’s were welcomed back by a raucous sellout Garden crowd, and the home team did not disappoint on the way to a 3-1 opening night win over the New York Rangers. Jacobs pledged that one of the only ways the Bruins could even begin to make up for the lockout and the shortened season would be to play hard and deliver a brand of hockey worth their fans’ attention. “The best way for us to make it up you [the fans] is to play hard Bruins hockey and to win,” Jacobs said in his opening statement. “I said last year after our playoff exit that the Stanley Cup is on loan, and I really meant it.” His players, the same players who found themselves locked out by Jacobs and the rest of the NHL owners just a few weeks ago, came out and made good on that promise, at least for one night. The B’s delivered a hallmark performance playing their trademark brand of physical hockey and making the most of opportunities. Fan favorite Milan Lucic got the scoring going early with a hustle play through the neutral zone that led to the game’s first goal. Fourth-line skaters Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell got the crowd going with consecutive second-period fights. Tuukka Rask proved how easy the transition from Tim Thomas really could be with a stellar effort. And most importantly, the B’s got a top-notch effort from the top of the roster down to the bottom. “The fans were awesome,” Lucic said. “When we did the pregame introductions, and all that type of stuff, it was great to see a full house. It was great to see the fans back. As a player, you couldn’t pick a better spot to play in [than] Boston with the fans that we have here. “I personally want to thank them for everything that they did here tonight.” What Bruins did was prove that they had no lockout rust. Another rabid crowd that was loud and boisterous from the get-go served as a reminder of how difficult they can make it for opposing teams to come to Boston. “We’ve always said that the fans are amazing here and again tonight they showed it. We know it’s been a long wait for them and for us as well, and I’m very happy being able to share that with them on the ice again at the Garden tonight, and I’m looking forward to the next games.” But the Bruins played a hand in that, too. Head coach Claude Julien was beaming after the game, as he had a hard time finding any faults with the way his club played in their first game of the 2013 season. The Bruins outworked the Rangers all night, with Julien doing his customary rolling of four lines, showing trust in each and every one of his skaters. The Bruins were first on loose pucks for much of the night, bringing the effort that, quite frankly, a hockey town like Boston deserves to see. The real test, however, in making amends with fans — an arduous process that is far from complete — is being able to sustain this sort of effort. It won’t be easy given the taxing schedule that awaits them, but if the B’s can show the effort they showed Saturday more often than not this season, that will go a long way in making a lot of fans forget about the last four months.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Blake Griffin opts out of contract to become free agent

Report: Wolves targeting Kyle Lowry, Jrue Holiday, other point guards in free agency

Conor McGregor’s coach says tentative plans include a return to UFC in 2017

Report: Mets open for business on the trade market

Markelle Fultz believes the Sixers are already a playoff team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jimmy Butler’s attitude toward Fred Hoiberg made players ‘uncomfortable’

St. Louis Cardinals to hold first LGBTQ Pride Night

John Mara: Extending Odell Beckham Jr. isn’t team’s No. 1 priority

Mike Trout reportedly wanted to sign ‘lifetime deal’ with Angels

Blackhawks, Blue Jackets swap Artemi Panarin, Brandon Saad

Matt Forte expected to be ‘offensive workhorse’ for Jets?

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

Box Score 6/23: Philly continues to trust the process

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Gary Payton Award for best trash talk of the year

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Kicking it: David Villa isn't interested in a 'retirement tour'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'NBA Draft going back to school?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker