FOXBORO -- The New England Patriots received a ton of support from the other local teams during their march to a sixth Super Bowl title back in January and February, and now they're doing the same for the Boston Bruins during the NHL team's own championship quest.
The Patriots held OTAs Thursday at Gillette Stadium, and several players and coaches showed their support for the Bruins by wearing B's hats, including cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore is supporting the Bruins today. pic.twitter.com/5elQrfPNYz— Nicholas W. Goss (@NickGossNBCSB) May 23, 2019
"Just trying to show our support," Gilmore said. "They have a big couple of games coming up. We're just trying to support them. They support us all the time, so we're showing our respect back."
The Bruins will take on the St. Louis Blues in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final beginning Monday night at TD Garden. Boston teams competing for championships is nothing new, and the Bruins are hoping to become the city's 13th champion since the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI in the 2001 NFL season.
Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson got a taste of how special Boston is as a sports town from when New England drafted him in 2004 until his departure in 2009. The 38-year-old veteran is now back with the Patriots after signing a one-year contract earlier this month, and the atmosphere around Boston sports is the same as it was during his first stint in New England.
"It's what makes this place special, honestly," Watson. "It's crazy over the last 10 years how many championships have been won. I remember being here and thinking it was a lot of championships then. And then to look and see what's happened, not only with the Patriots, but with the Bruins and the Celtics, even college hockey, it's just unbelievable the excellence in sports here.
"And I think it is important the support these teams and organizations have with each other. It's not only for the organizations but the fanbases as well. You have people in this area that support all the major teams as well as the colleges. To see the players who, some of these kids we're their heroes, to see us supporting as well, I think it's really important when you talk about building a community and just showing support. Most of us aren't from here. Most of us have learned what it means to be in New England from (the media) and people in our neighborhoods. It's great. I saw the clip of back around the Super Bowl the Bruins wearing the hats, so it's kind of returning the favor."
The Bruins hosted the Patriots in February to celebrate their Super Bowl LIII win with a ceremonial puck drop before a game against the New York Islanders, and you can bet the Pats will return the favor this fall if the B's are able to bring another Stanley Cup to Boston.
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