"You'd get everything for free," Sanderson said of the Stanley Cup days. "You'd go to a restaurant, eat for free. Go somewhere else, drink for free. Free clothes. You'd get gas. No problem."
There was nothing as good as being a Bruin in Boston in those days. Nothing in sports. Nothing maybe in anything.
SO NOW THE BEST TIMES, AT least an updated version, have arrived again. Comparisons are made between this team and the old Bruins—Tim Thomas compared with Gerry Cheevers in goal, perhaps Patrice Bergeron compared with Sanderson, nobody compared with the celestial Orr. The crowds are compared. The price of tickets is compared.
"I remember when a ticket was $4.50," said Sanderson. "I guess it's still $450. They just got rid of that decimal point."
There is at least one Bruins bridge between the last good times and the present good times. The opera singer Rene Rancourt, who sang the national anthem at a Bruins game for the first time in 1976, is still singing it today. "You can tell when the big games arrive," he says. "People sing along at the big games. It used to bother me. If everyone else is singing, why do they need me? Now I'm fine with it."
Standing ovations for eating pizza. Singing for the national anthem.
Back to the Boston Bruins' future.