The Boston Bruins are pumped about fans pouring in, well not so much pouring in right now, to TD Garden starting next month.
TD Garden will be able to welcome back in exactly 2,108 fans (12 percent of a full capacity arena) beginning March 23 when they host the New York Islanders, and undoubtedly they’re hoping they can bring the energy with them. It will still be a little strange with a mostly empty building, and it raises a whole new level of questions as to whether they will still need to pump in the crowd noise moving forward.
But it’s something the players said they were talking about on Thursday with the news that the Bruins fans are coming back to Boston.
“It’s huge. So excited, honestly,” said Sean Kuraly to the Greg Hill Morning Show on WEEI. “I think it’s only 1,500 or 2,000, but I think we’ve all got that circled. Some of us were talking about that at breakfast this morning, that we’ve had that circled on the calendar. We even got a text about possibly having friends or family — actually, it had to be family — come to the game, so that was a nice text to send some family. Obviously, it’s the first time in almost a year.”
Even better, the return of fans should make everybody feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel for the COVID-19 situation. The vaccines are being distributed, the numbers are declining or staying static and things are beginning to open up in places like Massachusetts that have smartly taken a conservative approach to everything.
Let the good times begin to (safely) roll. Now on to the puck links:
*Mark Madden says the Pittsburgh Penguins could use a player like Tom Wilson after he ran roughshod over the Pens on Thursday night. Yeah, just about every other team in the NHL could use a player like Tom Wilson. (Trib Live)
*Speaking of the Penguins, it sounds like they won’t have fans in the stands for Pens games until April. That’s a bummer. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
*It happens to the best of us, Kelly Hrudey. I’ve been there, my friend.
Been there https://t.co/z8VayO6UXo
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) February 26, 2021
*Here’s a comprehensive look from Mollie Walker at how Artemi Panarin got into his recent situation that was behind his taking time away from the New York Rangers. (New York Post)
*Really interesting piece about Mitchell Miller, the Coyotes draft pick that was summarily dismissed by the club after details of racist bullying from his past came to the fore. Well done by Craig Morgan on a subject that’s really complicated, big time sins and second chances. (Arizona Coyotes Insider)
*The New York Islanders have outscored the Boston Bruins by a combined 8-0 score in the third period of the three meetings between the two teams this season. That is an eye-popping number. (Boston Hockey Now)
*Apparently Dale Weise had some disparaging things to say about Claude Julien after he was relieved of his duties in Montreal. I’m not totally surprised by this, but they say timing is everything, right? It feels like piling on at this point. (Bar Down)
*Could the Montreal Canadiens actually do the unthinkable and deal away Carey Price amidst his recent struggles? It’s an interesting question. (Recrutes.ca)
Will Bergevin start shopping Carey Price? Will there be any interest if he does? What teams and what players might make sense? Recrutes goes in-depth on the subject – for subscribers: https://t.co/7zEF8d1Y4L pic.twitter.com/Uw5d8WOyzb
— Grant McCagg (@grantmccagg) February 26, 2021
*For something completely different: Can you believe that Carrie Fisher caused the cancellation of one of her Star Wars toys back in the day? Apparently, the backyard on the prototype was a little too big.