Four Torontonians are getting a playoff treat from an unlikely source, the Boston Bruins. Four restaurant employees from Mississauga will get to watch Monday night's Game 7 in Boston after an after-hours visit from a couple dozen Bruins staff and players.
The team, who lost Sunday's Game 6 2-1, got stranded in Toronto after their plane had mechanical trouble, reported the Globe and Mail. The famished team called a Canyon Creek Chophouse near the airport just before 11 p.m., minutes before the restaurant was set to close after a busy Mother's Day evening.
Manager Lauren Grenier said she was already closing the bar tills when she got a call on the phone. "The guy on the phone said 'there’s about 50 of us coming. We’re the Boston Bruins," she recalled. At first Grenier didn't believe it, saying that the staff at the restaurant have been known to play pranks on each other.
But sure enough 10 minutes later the Bruins bus arrived at the restaurant. "'Lauren, the Boston Bruins are really here,' one of my other coworkers shouted to me. I pretty much screamed," she said over the phone from the Boston hotel room where she and her co-workers are staying.
Photo: Some very happy hockey fans. Scott Leinster (left), Lauren Grenier (middle top) and Darren Boast (middle bottom), Alex Rigas (right) will be seeing Game 7 in Boston after a lucky run-in with the Bruins. (Scott Leinster photo)
"They all pretty much ate double," Grenier said about the very tired and quiet bunch of players that ate at her restaurant after hours. She even had to call for back-up from a nearby Jack Astors, a restaurant from the same parent company.
"I couldn’t believe how polite and how gracious they were. They were so nice. I almost felt bad for them because they lost, they were tired and they were stuck in Toronto," she said.
"I guess they’ve had a few experiences around the airport where things didn’t go quite as well as planned," said Scott Leinster, the restaurant's bartender.
At around 1:00 a.m., as things wound down the staff chatted with Grenier and expressed their appreciation. She made an off-hand remark about wanting to attend Monday night's Game 7. The Bruins staffers quickly said yes.
"It absolutely floored Lauren. 'If you can make your way down to Boston, you’ve got your tickets,' one of the guys said," Leinster recalled.
"I walked away at first," Grenier said.
"The fact they knew that we were Leafs fans and the way they treated us. I couldn’t believe they were giving Leafs fans tickets to a Boston playoff game," she said.
Grenier, Leinster and two other co-workers went home, packed their bags and hit the road for a 10-hour drive to Boston.
One of them is Darren Boast, whom Leinster describes as “one of the most diehard Bruins fans.”
“I got my Cup in 2010. I don’t really care who wins but it’s really great hockey,” Boast said referring to the Bruins Stanley Cup win in 2010.
“I’ve been here [to Boston’s TD Garden] for games. I’m just letting [my coworkers] soak it all in,” he said.
“They’re in for such a treat tonight.”