Howard Herman | Designated Hitter: Bruins players keeping one eye on Red Sox's World Series run
BOSTON — The chant started with just under six minutes left in the third period of Thursday night's Bruins game.
The familiar ring of "Beat L.A.," echoed through the T.D. Garden.
"I was still in the penalty box," Boston defenseman Stephen Kampfer said. "I heard it loud and clear."
The capacity crowd at the Garden wasn't imploring the Bruins to beat the Kings. No, they were getting rolling before Game 3 of the World Series between the Red Sox and the Dodgers.
"It's kind of funny in a way," Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk said. "They're passionate fans. We heard the Yankees, now it's L.A. There are no more teams we can go through.
"It's probably the last we'll hear [those] cheers."
That's probably because by the time the Bruins return to Boston on Nov. 5, either the Duck Boats will be getting warmed up for the World Series parade, or the Dodgers will have done what those in attendance on Thursday night believe is the unthinkable.
"It's an exciting time to be in Boston," DeBrusk said after the 3-0 win over the Flyers. "It's a lot of fun, and it is motivation. We got a little taste of it last year. We got to the second round, and seeing how everyone rallied around us, I can only imagine what it's like when down to the nitty gritty."
DeBrusk is thinking about what it might be like come next May and June, if the Bruins are going to be in the thick of the battle for Lord Stanley's Cup.
Bruins players are all-in when it comes to the Red Sox in the postseason.
"I sat on the couch [Wednesday] night with my wife, and we watched the Red Sox game from start to finish," said Kampfer. "I've been a Red Sox fan since I was here the last time.
"It's good to see them back in the World Series."
Kampfer is, however, experiencing a first World Series run for the Red Sox. He played for the Bruins from 2010-12, and missed out on being here when the Sox won World Series titles in 2004, 2007 and 2013.
When the Sox are in the World Series, it does give some other pro teams in the market a chance to play a little bit under-the-radar.
In October, with the Red Sox and the Patriots taking up most of the sports oxygen, the Bruins and the Celtics get to be those teams that aren't front and center on the sports radar of New England fans.
"I think it's this time of the year. I think every team has its time," DeBrusk said. "The Patriots kind of take over when they're playing. Obviously with the Red Sox in the World Series, in the grand scheme of things, we're playing in the regular season and they're playing in the World Series. So it makes sense, personally, I guess."
Even Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy had his two cents on the Red Sox and the World Series.
He was asked at his post-game press conference Thursday night, if the Red Sox success can be a motivational tool for the Bruins.
"Yeah. I think at the appropriate time our guys will recognize there are champions in this city, and they want to join the party," Cassidy said. "They're around those guys. They go to games. Come April and May, those are discussions they want to be a part of. Whether the Red Sox win, lose or draw, I think those guys will have that [discussion].
"It's an extra, little bit more of a carrot."
And even if the Bruins can't replicate in the spring what manager Alex Cora and his team are doing right now, there are a lot of fans of the team in the locker room on Causeway Street.
"We're rooting for them," said Kampfer. "We're hoping they go out and get the job done."
Howard Herman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @howardherman on Twitter, or 413-496-6253.
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