Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Army Ranger Jacket

During the 2011 Stanley Cup run, the Boston Bruins gave their "player of the game" a vintage Bruins jacket that Andrew Ference bought on e-bay. Read more about it at the end of this post. Last year, their short playoff run involved a padlock necklace that ended up, in hindsight, to be a sad reminder of the impending lockout. This season, Andrew Ference decided to return to the Jacket route, introducing an Army Ranger jacket to the team given to him by a personal friend that is himself an Army Ranger.

After each win, the previous recipient of the Jacket passes it on to the next person they deem to be the player of the game. This is how it has gone so far:


  • Game 1 vs Toronto, 4-1 win: David Krejci
  • Game 3 vs Toronto, 5-2 win: Milan Lucic
  • Game 4 vs Toronto, 4-3 OT win: Nathan Horton
  • Game 7 vs Toronto, 5-4 OT win: Patrice Bergeron
  • Game 1 vs NYR, 3-2 OT win: Zdeno Chara
  • Game 2 vs NYR, 5-2 win: Gregory Campbell
  • Game 3 vs NYR, 2-1 win: Daniel Paille
  • Game 5 vs NYR, 3-1 win: Tuukka Rask
  • Game 1 vs Pittsburgh, 3-0 win: David Krejci
  • Game 2 vs Pittsburgh, 6-1 win: Jaromir Jagr
  • Game 3 vs Pittsburgh, 2-1 double OT win: Patrice Bergeron
  • Game 4 vs Pittsburgh, 1-0 win: Adam McQuaid

Game-by-Game Breakdown

Game 1 vs Toronto, 4-1 win: David Krejci
Krejci had a goal and two assists. He had 19:03 of ice time, was a +2, and was 8-for-16 (50%) in the faceoff circle, including 2-for-2 in the defensive zone and 4-for-7 in the offensive zone.

Game 3 @ Toronto, 5-2 win: Milan Lucic.
Lucic had 3 points (all assists), was a +3, and had 5 shots. He had 3 hits in 14:05 time on ice.

Game 4 @ Toronto, 4-3 OT win: Nathan Horton.
Krejci had a hat trick in this game, but Horton took a hit to make the play that lead to Krejci's OT winner. Horton took a huge hit to make the play to Krejci that directly led to the GWG, but he wasn't in the locker room after the game, although he was in the line up for game 5. Horton had 2 assists, was a +2, and added 3 shots and 2 hits in 19:51 of ice time.

Game 7 vs Toronto, 5-4 OT win: Patrice Bergeron.
Bergeron had the tying goal with just over a minute left as the Bruins staged the historical combeback in the third period. He then had the GWG in overtime. Bergeron also had an assist on Milan Lucic's goal that brought the Bruins within 1 goal late in the game. He had 3 points, a +3 rating, 6 shots, 4 hits, 1 takeaway, and 20:53 of TOI. In the faceoff circle, he was 16-for-22 (73%): 6-for-8 (75%) in the offensive zone and 7-for-9 (78%) in the defensive zone.

Game 1 vs NYR, 3-2 win: Zdeno Chara.
Chara had a goal and an assist in this game, opening the scoring in the first period and getting the secondary assist on the overtime GWG from Brad Marchand. Chara played a ridiculous 38:02. He had 9 shots, 6 hits, a +2 rating, and 2 blocked shots as the team scrambled to deal with the loss of Dennis Seidenberg to injury along with the already missing Andrew Ference, which meant three rookie defensemen were suited up.

Game 2 vs NYR, 5-2 win: Gregory Campbell.
Chara passed the Jacket onto Gregory Campbell, who had a goal and a fight in the game. He had 2 shots, 3 hits, 1 blocked shot, 12:34 of TOI.

Game 3 @ NYR, 2-1 win: Daniel Paille.
Paille had the game-winning goal late in the third period after assisting on Johnny Boychuk's game-tying goal earlier in the period. Along with his 2 points and +2 rating, Paille had 2 shots and 11:10 of TOI.

Game 5 vs NYR, 3-1 win: Tuukka Rask.
Tuukka Rask won his first Conference Semifinals series, outplaying Vezina champion and world-class goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. He gave up only 1 goal to make-up for the fiasco of falling down on Rick Nash's goal in game four, which they lost in OT. He stopped 28 of 29 shots. In the entire 5-game series against the Rangers, Tuukka had a 1.86 GAA and .936 save percentage.

Game 1 @ Pittsburgh, 3-0 win: David Krejci.
Krejci was awarded the Jacket for the second time this playoff season. He had 2 goals, was a +2, had 7 shots, 3 hits, 1 takeaway, and 19:29 of TOI. He was 5-for-6 (83%) in the faceoff circle.

Game 2 @ Pittsburgh, 6-1 win: Jaromir Jagr.
Obviously Krejci passed the Jacket onto his idol growing up, and fellow Czech, Jagr. Jagr had his best game of the playoffs, recording 2 assists, a rating of +3, along with 1 shot and 1 hit in 14:24 of TOI.

Game 3 vs Pittsburgh, 2-1 2OT win: Patrice Bergeron.
Bergeron got the Jacket for the second time for scoring the game winning goal in the second overtime. He had 5 shots and 2 takeaways in 31:59 TOI.

Game 4 vs Pittsburgh 1-0 win: Adam McQuaid.
McQuaid scored his first career playoff goal earlier this playoff season, and got his second in the sweep against the Penguins. His goal was the only one of the game. He added 2 shots, 2 blocked shots, and 1 hit in 10:01 of TOI.

About the Jacket

"Yeah, it's something that we wanted to bring back. Something that we always try to do is give off a team award to the guy that the player that got it last game feels had a strong game," said Lucic, of his pride in wearing the jacket postgame. "We went back with the jacket because it worked for us last time, and it's nice to get it." (source)
The Jacket is personally special for Boston, and not just because it has the Bruins logo sewed on it. It came from Lucas Carr, who ran this year's Boston Marathon for the Bruins Foundation:
[The jacket is] the same one Lucas Carr had on when he finished this year's Boston Marathon about 2 minutes before the bombs went off at the finish line, the one Carr was still wearing when he headed back down Boylston Street to help those injured in the explosions.  
The bond between the team and the [Army Ranger] unit began in 2011, when Ference wore an Army Rangers T-shirt during Boston's Stanley Cup run. The soldiers sent back a picture of them waving a Bruins banner in Afghanistan.
"It's about the man beside you...It is about the man beside you when you're skating a wing. They showed that in that comeback the other night [versus Toronto]. "It's amazing what you can accomplish for a team." (source)
Ference explained:
"They live by a slogan, 'Rangers Lead the Way'," Andrew Ference had explained about the jacket, after it has been given out for the first time, to David Krejci, following the Bruins' Game 1 win at TD Garden. "So I think it's fitting to give this to a player that led the way for us in a game. A lot less important than what [the Rangers] are doing, but for us, it's important to have guys step up. So they get to wear this for the night." (source)
Who will Adam McQuaid pass it to tonight after the OT win? Paille? Tuukka? Or go with someone who hasn't gotten it yet? Let's hope it's passed out at least four more times!

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