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Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, before Mayor Menino ques the Duckboats for the victory parade on Saturday, I want to take a moment with my colleague on the Senate floor to celebrate an extraordinary victory by the Boston Bruins. After a grueling 39 years of so many ups and downs, heartbreaking misses and almosts, the Stanley Cup is coming back to Boston. That is thanks to the extraordinary grit of a special hockey team, a team that had remarkable character. I have to say--and I say this, I hope, cautiously because I know pride comes before a fall. Nevertheless, we in Massachusetts are blessed with an embarrassment of riches right now because last night's heart-stopping 7th game victory against the Vancouver Canucks is now allowing us to celebrate our seventh championship for our city in the last decade. Again, I know pride comes before the fall, but sweeping the Yankees a weekend ago and now winning this isn't too bad.
As a lifelong hockey fan and a guy who still tries to get around the rink occasionally when my hips allow me to do that, the Bruins' win last night was one of the sweetest ever. That is partly because it was in such a long time coming, but it is also because of the determination this team showed in getting there. Not since 1972 have the Bruins brought home a coveted Stanley Cup; and not since the 1970 championship of the legendary Bobby Orr's flying goal has there been so much for Boston hockey fans to cheer about.
This Boston Bruins team made history not just in the championship but in the way they got there. They are the first team in NHL history to win a game 7 three times in the same postseason. They did it with a kind of hard-nosed, selfless, remember-the-fundamentals, play the basics, gritty kind of teamwork that we in Boston admire so much.
During the Bruins' run to the championship, we got to witness a very special kind of pride and encouragement that came from our city. It was a black and gold Bruins jersey on the statue of Paul Revere, and before game 7 everybody got to see our injured forward, Nathan Horton, pouring a bottle of Boston water onto the Vancouver ice. This team couldn't and wouldn't lose at home, and last night Horton's magic water turned Vancouver into our home ice. Today all of New England is home to the world's champion, the Boston Bruins.
I have to say with last night's victory, yet another Bruin legend was born, goalie Tim Thomas. In seven spectacular games, again and again, Tim turned back Vancouver and held the Canucks to eight goals the entire series. In the final shutout, Tim had 37 saves. So it was more than appropriate that he was named the playoff's Most Valuable Player. I would say what Curt Schilling was to the 2004 Red Sox as Tim Thomas is to the Bruins today.
This Stanley Cup win is a victory for everyone in Massachusetts who has ever laced up a skate and braved the black ice on frozen ponds early in the morning, for every parent who has packed their kids into a minivan at 4 in the morning to get to practice. For everyone who remembers their heart skipping a beat when Bobby Orr sailed through the air in victory, for everyone who never stopped rooting for this team over a four-decade drought, we hear our own voices and the words of Tim Thomas last night when he proclaimed:
You've been waiting for it a long time, but you've got it. You wanted it, you got it. We're bringing it home.
Just as it was for the Red Sox for a long time, some people said this day was never going to come. Just as it was for the Red Sox, and a curse that we no longer hear much about, some even blamed fate for the drought. But after last night, Mr. President, Boston proved once again: Never underestimate an underdog. So, final score: Bruins 1, Fate, 0.
I am proud to offer my congratulations to the Bruins players, the coaches, and the front office for a great series, for a great season, and for being great champions. This team never quit. They never lost focus. They believed in themselves as individuals. Above all, they believed in themselves as a team. So we cannot wait for Saturday when we will see the city of Boston's reflection in the polished silver and nickel of Lord Stanley's Cup. Welcome back to Boston.
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Mr. KERRY. Madam President, before our time expires, listening to my colleague from Massachusetts, he reminded me about Captain Chara, the defenseman who raised the Stanley Cup last night, the tallest person ever to play in the National Hockey League. So that reminds me that, therefore, we are also making history because never has the Stanley Cup been held so high over the ice.
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