Why Bruins Charlie Coyle and Chris Wagner’s goals against Sharks had special meaning

Matt Kalman
October 29, 2019 - 11:24 pm

It would’ve been a fulfilling night for 3-year-old Quinn Waters had Charlie Coyle not scored a goal in the Bruins’ 5-1 win against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday TD Garden.

Waters, who had 95 percent of a Medulloblastoma Grade Four brain tumor removed via surgery last February and underwent multiple rounds of chemotherapy and blood and platelet transfusions, has only started getting out of the house since September. He not only got to attend the game but on Hockey Fight Cancer Night he dropped the ceremonial first puck to Coyle and Sharks captain Logan Couture.

Then the Bruins plowed over the Sharks, outshooting them 16-6 in the first period, 18-6 in the second period an 41-17 for the game. Coyle scored his goal 5:21 into the second period after a backdoor pass from David Krejci.

“Yeah he told me to score one for him. So that worked out nicely. They brought a little luck for me and the team,” Coyle, a fellow Weymouth native, said after the game.

Coyle had been among the celebrities that visited Waters when he was housebound over the summer.

But Coyle wasn’t the only one with a little extra motivation to find the back of the net Tuesday. At 8:31 of the second period, Chris Wagner beat goaltender Martin Jones through the five-hole at the end of a breakaway. Wagner leapt into the glass, Sean Kuraly style, in celebration. It may have looked like an overenthusiastic expression of joy for a player scoring a goal that made an October regular-season game 4-1 in his team’s favor.

As it turned out, Wagner scored for someone special too.

“I just want to give a shout-out though for that goal, one of my buddies, Tom Budreau, got diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma last week, so we’re going to start raising money for him, ToughTom.com. Give him a shout-out, he’s a fellow Xaverian brother. He’s one of my best friends,” Wagner said.

Asked if he drew inspiration from Boudreau, Wagner, who missed the Bruins’ previous game Sunday because of a foot injury he sustained at the end of the Bruins’ game Saturday, said: “Especially, my foot’s kind of sore but it’s nothing compared to what he’s about to go through.”

Now 9-1-2 and on a four-game winning streak, the Bruins certainly aren’t playing like a team that needs extra motivation. Krejci returned to the lineup after a five-game absence because of an upper-body injury and had one goal and one assist. David Pastrnak scored his NHL-leading 12th goal to extend his point streak to 10 games. Brad Marchand had an assist to extend his point streak to 11 games.

The Bruins are a force of nature, and there’s no telling how many people fighting cancer they’re inspiring every night. We know for sure that they paid tribute to a couple that are close to them, and hopefully made Waters’ rare night out an evening he’ll never forget.

“I liked that a little more, he’s out and about and getting to live his life and it’s great that he’s feeling healthier and healthier,” Coyle said about Waters. “And I think it was pretty emotional I bet for them and … you feel emotions yourself, you see him walking out, giving the fist bumps and the crowd on their feet. He deserves it. He and his family deserve it. You don’t even know what they go through and that’s got to be just a terrible thing.

“So I’m glad things are looking up and they got to come out here and be a part of this. And for us to kind of be a part of their life. It was very special and we got the win for them.”

Related: