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Army Rangers Jacket A Unifying Force For Bruins In Postseason Run

BOSTON (CBS) — During the 2011 Stanley Cup run, Andrew Ference purchased a ratty old Bruins jacket which became the team’s wearable trophy for the locker room-appointed player of the game. The jacket cost Ference just a few dollars on eBay, but it became a unifying force during that unforgettable two-month stretch.

This year, after awarding a chain link necklace with a padlock pendant during their brief playoff run last season, the Bruins have gone back to giving out postgame threads for the player of the game. And it appears to be a keeper.

This year’s jacket comes from the Army Rangers, again courtesy of Ference, who visited the Rangers’ training school in Georgia. The Army Rangers’ mantra is, simply, “Rangers lead the way,” and it’s served as an inspiration to the Bruins.

Lucas Carr at Fenway Park in 2011 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Lucas Carr at Fenway Park in 2011 (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

“Seeing the guys wear the jacket, I’ve got to tell you, I’ve been getting emails and Facebook messages left and right,” Army Sgt. Lucas Carr, who’s struck a friendship with Ference and Shawn Thornton, said in an AP article. “The guys that are seeing this are in awe. They’re very humbled: ‘Oh, my God, this professional hockey team is using our insignia, out there performing for us. We’re their heroes.’ Hockey players can have heroes, too. That’s what Andrew’s conveyed for the team.”

While nobody would ever equate the work of the Rangers to the work of hockey players, Carr — who ran the Boston Marathon for the Boston Bruins Foundation and ran toward the bombing site to help shortly after crossing the finish line — said there is a similar mind-set when it comes to their approach.

“It’s about the man beside you,” Carr said. “It is about the man beside you when you’re skating a wing. They showed that in that comeback [in Game 7 vs. Toronto]. It’s amazing what you can accomplish for a team.”

The Bruins only award the jacket after victories, and it’s passed on from the previous game’s winner. Here’s a list of who has won the jacket thus far, and what they’ve done to earn it.

Eastern Conference quarterfinals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Game 1 — David Krejci

The Bruins’ leading scorer this postseason began the playoffs with a three-point night, including an assist on the eventual game-winner, to earn player of the game honors from his teammates. It was the first of many excellent showings for the 27-year-old this postseason.

Game 3 — Milan Lucic

The lumbering left winger tallied assists on the Bruins’ first, third and fifth goals in a 5-2 victory in Toronto. His assist on that third goal, the eventual game-winner, was his best, as he out-hustled every Maple Leaf on the ice before sending a hard pass to Nathan Horton at the goal mouth. It came less than a minute after Toronto scored a goal to cut the Bruins’ lead in half, and Lucic’s effort helped quiet the raucous Toronto crowd.

Game 4 — Nathan Horton

No jacket wearer better embodied the spirit of the reward than Nathan Horton in Game 4. He had two assists, but it was his effort on the game-winning goal in overtime that can’t properly be reflected on the stat sheet but was very much appreciated by his teammates. Horton saw a charging Dion Phaneuf coming at him out of the corner of his eye and chipped a puck out of the Boston zone to David Krejci. Horton paid the price for his play, as he absorbed a heavy hit by Phaneuf that sent Horton’s stick flying through the air, but it helped open up the space Krejci needed to operate to score the winning goal.

Game 7 — Patrice Bergeron

In what was one of the greatest Bruins games ever played, Patrice Bergeron was the man to score the game-tying goal with less than a minute left in regulation. And for good measure, Bergeron scored the game-winning goal in overtime. Bergeron also had an assist in the 5-4 overtime win. The tying goal capped an unbelievable three-goal third-period comeback, so it was appropriate that the most-beloved Bruins player was the one to author the unforgettable moment.

Eastern Conference semifinals vs. New York Rangers

Game 1 — Zdeno Chara

The hardest-working man in the league was rewarded for his efforts in a 3-2 overtime win against the New York Rangers. Chara scored the Bruins’ first goal and assisted on the game-winner in overtime, but the postgame award was as much for his incredible 38:02 of ice time as it was for his offense. The next highest ice time total for any Bruin was Bergeron at 27:07, while New York’s Dan Girardi finished with just over 32 minutes on the ice. Without the injured Dennis Seidenberg, Chara stepped up in a big way — just three days after logging 35:46 of ice time in Game 7 against Toronto.

Game 2 — Gregory Campbell

The Bruins’ fourth-line center was an invaluable piece during the five-game series win of the Rangers, as it was his fourth line’s dominance that might have made the biggest difference in the series. Campbell broke a tie game 2:24 into the second period when he backhanded a loose puck past Henrik Lundqvist, and he stepped up for his team late in the third period in what ended up being a blowout by agreeing to drop the gloves with Derek Dorsett at center ice.

Game 3 — Daniel Paille

The fourth line struck again in Game 3. With the Bruins trailing 1-0, Daniel Paille passed to Johnny Boychuk for Boston’s first goal in the third period. Thirteen minutes later, Paille beat every player on the ice to a loose puck that had bounced out of the New York crease. Paille scored on the rebound, the Bruins led the series 3-0, and Paille earned himself the jacket.

Game 5 — Tuukka Rask

The Bruins’ netminder took an embarrassing tumble in Game 4, a flub that proved costly in an overtime loss that forced the Bruins to keep playing and led to 48 hours of questioning of the Bruins’ and Rask’s ability to close out series. Rask responded in a big way, allowing just one goal through a screen on 29 shots, including a denial of Rangers captain Ryan Callahan on a breakaway in the third period. While Campbell scored two goals and certainly did enough to earn player of the game honors, Paille’s decision to give the jacket to the goalie shows just how happy the team was to see Tuukka play so well after a tough night in Game 4.

Read more from Michael by clicking here, or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

 Army Rangers Jacket A Unifying Force For Bruins In Postseason Run

Article source: http://boston.cbslocal.com/2013/05/28/army-rangers-jacket-a-unifying-force-for-bruins-in-postseason-run/

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Posted by on May 28 2013. Filed under Army. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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