Boston Bruins forward Charlie Coyle grew up in Weymouth, MA and then played for the Minnesota Wild before returning to Boston at the NHL trade deadline to play for the team he grew up cheering for. Coyle has had the pleasure of playing in two hockey beds in Minnesota and Boston, but playing in front of a soldout TD Garden Thursday for what amounted to a practice scrimmage reminded him of how Boston is one of the greatest sports cities in the world.
Coyle and the Bruins were simply trying to get back into game mode on the seventh day of their 11-day layoff before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final Monday against the St. Louis Blues and while they did a good job of that, they were greeted by an adoring and loud crowd.
“It’s awesome!” Coyle said of the packed house for what really was just a practice scrimmage for him and his teammates. “I mean, both places are really big hockey communities and they love the Wild there, they love the Bruins here. Boston sports in general. …I’m pretty proud to be from here. You can’t complain too much with how passionate people are about sports, especially the teams, Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, obviously, and to see [the crowd] here for a practice scrimmage. …packed house, it’s really cool, really cool!”
Now, as Coyle pointed out, it is time for the Bruins to reward the faith and support from their fans.
“You see how dedicated they are and how much they want this like we do, and that’s up to us to try and give them what they deserve,” Coyle said.
As for the scrimmage and whether it provided what the Bruins were looking for?
“It was really good and we definitely needed that,” Coyle acknowledged. “When you’re away from it for so long and you just get out of that game mode – practice is good, you stay sharp – but just to get the legs back in game mode and good habits and all that, it’s nice to have that with that long stretch.”
Coyle was then reminded that he and his teammates hadn’t been in the Bruins TD Garden dressing room since Mother’s Day on May 12 when they beat the Carolina Hurricanes 6-2 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final.
“Yeah, it’s been a while,” he said. “So yeah, nice to come back here, get back in the routine, get in here for game prep and all that.”