A black-and-gold sendoff for the Bruins

Bruins fans lined up at the Garden to catch a glimpse of the Stanley Cup contenders before they headed off to tomorrow’s Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals in Vancouver.

It didn’t matter to Robin Huckleberry that she was missing the backyard barbecues and beach parties yesterday that mark the unofficial start of summer.  

After all, there’s going to be hockey in June in Boston.

“There’s no barbecue better than this,” said the Everett native whose fingernails and toenails were painted black and gold.

Huckleberry was one of about a thousand Bruins fans who crowded in front of the TD Garden yesterday to give the B’s a proper send off as they begin their first Stanley Cup finals series in two decades.

After shaking hands and signing autographs for fans who waited more than two hours in the hot, muggy parking lot, the team boarded two buses that took them to their Vancouver-bound plane.

The crowd broke into various chants of “We want the Cup” and “Let’s go Bruins.”

But, the loudest cheer of the afternoon might have come as Bruins President Cam Neely and General Manager Peter Chiarelli walked to the bus.

Many in the crowd weren’t even born when Neely laced up for the Bruins or when the team made its last trip to the Cup finals in 1990. That didn’t matter yesterday.

“It might be the best day of my life,” said Kaleigh McMahon, 19, of Lawrence.


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