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The Bruins visited the White House today and were greeted by President Barack Obama, who made some brief remarks about the players and was given a black-and-gold hockey jersey with No. 11 on the back.
It’s a tradition for teams that win major championships to be greeted by the president. The Major League Baseball champion St. Louis Cardinals made their visit last week.
“I am happy to welcome the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins to the White House,” Obama said. ?I?m sure they are wicked happy to be here.”
Obama noted the recent championships won by the Bruins, Patriots, Red Sox, and Celtics. Obama is a Chicago fan.
“Enough already, Boston,” said Obama.
Obama singled out playoff hero Brad Marchand.
“The Little Ball of Hate shrugged off the rookie jitters,” said Obama, then turned to the left wing. “What’s up with that nickname, man?”
Click the Full Entry button to read the full text of Obama’s remarks.
Here’s the text of President Barack Obama’s comments about the Bruins at a White House reception today, provided by the office of the press secretary:
THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody! (Applause.) Thank you so much. Thank you. Everybody, please have a seat.
Well, I am happy to welcome the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins to the White House. (Applause.) I know you are all wicked happy to be here. (Laughter.)
I know there are some members of Congress, members of my Cabinet who are joining us today who are also pretty excited to see you. I understand we got Mayor Menino here. Where is he? There he is right in front of me. (Applause.) Great to see you.
The Bruins, the Sox, the Celtics, now the Patriots. (Laughter.) Enough already, Boston. (Laughter.) What’s going on, huh?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Go, Boston. (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: Last year, this team endured a long season and even longer playoffs. They are the first team in NHL history to win three full seven-game series. They had some pretty long playoff beards to show it — to show for it. And I appreciate them looking a little more clean cut as they come here today. (Laughter.)
These Bruins finally brought the Stanley Cup back to Causeway Street for the first time since 1972, when Bobby Orr was leading the team. And obviously, that was before most of the guys on this stage were born. (Laughter.)
Now, Bobby Orr is obviously a hockey legend. He took the ice without a helmet, and kids, don’t try that at home. He attacked every puck, and he lived by the motto, “Forget about style; worry about results.”
Well, that’s what this year’s offense delivered: big-time results.
Brad Marchand went into the season playing on the fourth line, but “The Little Ball of Hate” shrugged off the rookie jitters and — (laughter) — what’s up with that nickname, man? (Laughter.)
Scored five goals in the last five games of the finals series.
After two series-winning goals to lead the Bruins to the championships, Nathan Horton went down hard in Game Three of the finals. But that didn’t stop him from doing everything he could to help his team win. He even brought some Boston water all the way to Vancouver and poured it in the ice before decisive Game Seven. So Beantown delivered.
And there is no better image of the Bruins’ dominance than the tallest player in NHL history — I’ll let you guess which one that is — (laughter) — Zdeno Chara, hoisting the cup above the ice in Vancouver, which is I’m sure the highest that the Stanley Cup had ever been. (Laughter.)
This Stanley Cup was won by defense as much as by offense. Tim Thomas posted two shutouts in the Stanley Cup’s finals; set an all-time record for saves in the postseason. He also earned the honor of being only the second American ever to be recognized as the Stanley Cup’s Playoffs MVP.
And together, these players proved that teamwork is everything. It can overcome injuries, it can overcome long odds. The wise old man of the team, Mark Recchi, summed up the season by saying, “We played together, we drank together,” — how much did you drink? — (laughter) — “we lost together, and we never wavered.”
I know that loyalty is important in Boston, which is why the Boston Bruins Foundation has raised and donated more than $7 million in charitable contributions for organizations all across New England. (Applause.)
I want to thank them for bringing their spirit of service to Washington. They led a hockey clinic at the Boys and Girls Club — or they’re going to do that later this afternoon.
These Bruins understand that winning the Stanley Cup is more than just men on ice. It’s about the people that stand behind them. And that’s why, since the last buzzer sounded in June, the Bruins have been taking their Cup all over the world to share it with their fans.
Zdeno invited his mailman to check it out, wheeled it around town in a baby carriage. (Laughter.) Coach Julien’s daughter ate her morning Cheerios out of it. (Laughter.) That’s pretty cool. The Cup has traveled from the back of a duck boat in the streets of Boston to the greens of Pebble Beach, and from a sauna in Finland to a Slovakian castle. Dennis Seidenberg even brought it to his son’s christening.
Under the leadership of owner Jeremy Jacobs and Coach Julien, this team has shown a commitment to the game and to each other that is a testament to them, but obviously also a testament to fans who cheer for the black and gold all around the world. They know that being a champion doesn’t end when you hang up your skates at the end of practice or at the end of the season. And the new banner that hangs from the rafters of the Garden commemorates the place that they have earned in history.
And I know that the season is heating up again, so I don’t want to be too long. I just want to make sure that I wish everybody good luck on the ice tomorrow night and during the rest of the season as well.
Congratulations, gentlemen. Great job. All right.