By Lenny Neslin, Boston.com Staff
Boston fans have craved another shot at winning a Stanley Cup for 21 years. This afternoon about 1,000 fans saw the Bruins head to their flight on team buses as they began their trek to Vancouver for the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals.
First-year team president Cam Neely addressed the crowd, thanking them for their support. Coach Claude Julien addressed the media after the team finished its morning warm-up.
The Bruins' last finals appearance was short-lived, as the Oilers ousted them in five games in 1990. Their last Cup victory was in 1972. But Boston’s fans have stuck, and showed awareness for the 39-year drought by chanting, “We want the Cup” several times before the Bruins drove away.
Nick Ruggiero was with his family to see the Bruins off, and was able to nab an autograph from assistant captain Patrice Bergeron.
“If he scores, we’ve got a good chance,” said Ruggiero, who thinks the Bruins will win in another grueling seven-game series.
Bergeron was one of several players to sign autographs before leaving.
Jonah Soolman, of Brookline, admitted he hasn't been to a game in a while, but he revealed his game plan for his beloved B’s.
"If they can do a good job, score a few goals, keep Vancouver from getting on the power play too often, and just play 5-on-5, they seemed to do pretty well at that.”
Kathleen Quintal, of Newburyport, was so thrilled with the Bruins' 1-0 win over the Lightning to clinch a finals berth that she put out gold and black balloons on her lawn.
“It was probably the greatest sporting event – and I watch golf, tennis, football, basketball, baseball – that was nerve-wracking, exciting, thrilling, and we won,” Quintal said.
She predicted the Bruins will win in 6.