In Boston, this was more than a Hockey game. 17,565 Sing National Anthem.Submitted by celeste on Thu, 04/18/2013 - 07:32
Rene Rancourt, the Boston Bruins’ iconic anthem singer, delivered perhaps the most memorable performance of his career Wednesday night. It lasted about 15 seconds. At that point in his rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Rancourt let the microphone drift away from his lips. The crowd – who came to smile, to cheer, to weep, to be – knew instantly what the gesture meant. On this night, of all nights, the song and its message did not belong to one man.
And so the city stood in soulful carol, Rancourt conducting the full-throated chorus of 17,565, in one of the most moving scenes I’ve witnessed – sports or otherwise. I coaxed the words out, too. Barely. Turns out it’s hard to cry and sing at the same time.
Hockey? Yes, the Bruins lost to the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2, in a shootout at TD Garden. The result mattered. The game mattered more. Bruins coach Claude Julien had remarked how, even as people walked the streets Wednesday morning, the city was quiet. “It’s different,” he said. And it was. Wednesday night was different, too, but in the most wonderful way. This was a city, a region and a country at their best.