A disconsolate and soon-to-be-incredibly-hungry Bruins team leaves the ice after Game 6.
As if the Boston Bruins didn't have enough problems Sunday after dropping their second straight elimination game and allowing the Toronto Maple Leafs to force a Game 7 the following evening, a malfunction with their charter plane left them stranded in Toronto overnight.
It was a stressful situation, so the Bruins opted to do what pretty much anybody does when they're feeling stressed: eat a lot of food.
But finding a restaurant that would accommodate 50 men at about 11 p.m. on a Sunday night is no easy feat, and when Mississauga's Canyon Creek Chophouse agreed to stay open late the feed the bear, the club was understandably appreciative: two hours after opening their doors and hearts to the enemy club, four employees of the restaurant found themselves with tickets to Monday night's Game 7 in Boston.
The story begins a few minutes before 11 p.m. As she was closing up shop for the night, Lauren Grenier, the 28-year-old service manager of the Canyon Creek Chophouse, received a call.
“I had literally closed the till for my bartender and we were closing in five minutes and I get this phone call,” Grenier, the restaurant’s service manager, said. “And they’re like, hey, there’s about 50 of us coming down to your restaurant, it’s the Boston Bruins. And I’m like, sure it is. I didn’t believe them because we’re always playing pranks on each other here at work late at night.”
Cagily, Grenier said if they arrived within the next 10 minutes or so the restaurant would try to accommodate them.
“I was just going with it,” she said, still not believing she was speaking with the Bruins.
Sure enough, 10 minutes later, the Bruins' bus pulled up, and a bunch of hungry, hungry Bruins filed into the restaurant looking for grub. For the next two hours, "they ate so much food," according to Grenier.
Additional servers and cooks were brought in from Jack Astor’s, another restaurant owned by the same company (probably to keep up with Zdeno Chara, who, rumour has it, eats entire meals and the plates on which they're served in one or two bites).
Finally, around 1 a.m., as the Bruins prepared to check back into their hotel for the night before trying to get back to Boston again in the morning, Grenier remarked, offhand, how cool it would be to go to a Game 7.
Then: “Somebody in the party said, well how many tickets do you want?”
Four, she said.
Three and a half hours later, Grenier, general manager Alex Rigas, bartender Scott Leinster, and server Darren Boast (the lone Bruins fan in the bunch), were in a car, making the 10-hour drive to Boston's TD Garden with tickets to Game 7.
Best. Tip. Ever. (Except for the one in It Could Happen To You.)
Sure, it may seem strange for the Bruins to be bringing three Leafs fans to the game, but so the saying goes, and this incredible story attests to it, the way to a hockey team's heart is through their stomachs.
Follow Harrison Mooney on Twitter at @HarrisonMooney