- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2011

BOSTON (AP) - Bruins coach Claude Julien took the podium on Wednesday, just hours before Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals vs. the Vancouver Canucks, and spoke in generalities.

There was no bulletin board material. There were no threats. There were no guarantees.

Just the obvious.

“We’re hoping,” Julien said, “for a happy ending.”

He got one.

And so did everyone else in Boston.

As the Bruins battered their way through this postseason, they were able to capture Beantown’s attention much like the Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots did in recent championship seasons. Indeed, the city wrapped its arms around Julien’s bunch and jumped on board for what was an eventful 10-week ride, a journey that ended joyously with a 4-0 Game 7 victory over the Canucks at Rogers Arena.

The first-place Red Sox caught the fever, clearly. They were often seen wearing Bruins gear in and around the city, and Fenway Park has had a “Good Luck” sign, complete with a Bruins logo on its green fencing for more than a month. Chances are, that sign will soon change over to a “Congratulations” one.

The Red Sox were not in Boston on Wednesday night, but it didn’t matter. After they defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 3-0 in St. Petersburg, Fla., every television in the clubhouse featured Game 7, including the one in manager Terry Francona’s office.

Before the hockey game even went final, the Red Sox were celebrating.

“That’s money in the bank,” designated hitter David Ortiz said, as the Bruins took a 3-0 lead in the second period.

Third baseman Kevin Youkilis knew it was over at that point, as well.

“I can’t wait,” he said, “to see them holding up the Cup.”

The love affair is not lost on Boston’s newcomers, either. Outfielder Carl Crawford has only been with the Red Sox for a few months, but he, too, found himself swept up in the postseason rush.

“They love their teams. (It’s) a sports town,” Crawford said. “There are Bruins fans everywhere. They’re real passionate. I’ve been watching them. You definitely get caught up in all of that, because everybody’s watching it, wearing Bruins jerseys.

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