The Boston Bruins will finally get to feel a little normalcy on Thursday night.
From the top to the bottom of the Bruins organization, there is little question about the excitement level now that Bruins fans will be back TD Garden on Thursday night for the first time in over a year when the B’s host the New York Islanders.
Or 383 long days to be exact!
It’s been 383! days since the #NHLBruins last played a game at @tdgarden with fans. @pastrnak96 is worried he won’t have a great pregame nap because he’s so excited. @RaulNBCBoston @HackswithHaggs pic.twitter.com/chUwjcejWU
— Craig Kolodny (@NBCBostonCraig) March 25, 2021
It will be a small percentage of Bruins fans with roughly 2,100 ticket-paying fans inside the building, but they undoubtedly will be loud and they will be noticed by a group of B’s players that have been waiting all season for them.
“It will be a lot of fun,” said David Pastrnak, with a big smile on his face. “We missed them a lot lately and so excited to have them back, it’s going to be a lot of fun. We finally have someone to throw pucks to in warm-ups, you know?
“Hopefully even the low numbers [of fans] are going to be loud out there today. I’m pretty sure they’re going to be excited as well. Hopefully they will be loud and they will support us like they did through the TV [earlier this season]. For me, it means a lot. I love playing to the full buildings and it always gets me excited.”
The Bruins played in front of a few thousand fans at Madison Square Garden last month against the Rangers, and they remarked afterward how much easier it was to generate the usual required energy on the ice. Now it will be a friendly group backing the Boston Bruins and pushing them forward when they need a little extra as they kick off a stretch where they’ll be playing seven straight home games over the next two weeks.
Or it might even be a disapproving home crowd that will let them know they don’t like what they’re seeing as they absolutely would have a couple of weeks ago during a dud Saturday matinee performance against the Rangers.
“I think you respond [to the fans],” said Bruce Cassidy. “A couple of weeks ago with the Rangers game, I don’t mean to bring up negatives…but they would have been booing us. And rightfully so. That might have woken us up and rightfully so. It works both ways. It helps you build momentum and extend leads and create anxiety for the other team…that’s what a home crowd can do.”
As a bystander for nearly all of the games played at TD Garden thus far this season, it will be nice to hear real, honest-to-goodness noise from Bruins rather during game play rather than the pumped-in noise we’ve heard thus far this year. It will be music to the ears, in fact.
Now on to the rest of the BHN Puck Links:
*Cool story from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Craig Custance about a JV hockey team that needed to step up and play during the Michigan high school playoffs due to a COVID quarantine issue. (The Athletic)
*Excellent profile of Kate Madigan working in the New Jersey Devils hockey operations department and making a name for herself. (NHL.com)
*A couple of big names to keep an eye on in trade chatter in the next few weeks will be Kyle Palmieri and Nick Foligno, who may be front and center with the New York Islanders and Lou Lamoriello in the coming weeks. (The Athletic)
*It looks like the Pittsburgh Penguins may be without Kasperi Kapanen after he suffered an injury on Wednesday night. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
*How about a four goal game for Andrew Copp last night with the Winnipeg Jets? That’s three games worth of goals for the Boston Bruins! (Winnipeg Sun)
*Good news on the trade front as it looks like there’s going to be an adjusted quarantine period on players going between the US and Canada ahead of the April 12 trade deadline.
🚨🚨🚨Breaking News: Canada has approved a 7-day quarantine with extra testing for NHL players traded from American teams to Canadian teams before the April 12th trade deadline. pic.twitter.com/2OOue6387q
— Hockey Hound (@HockeyHoundShow) March 25, 2021
*For something completely different: It sounds like the new Mighty Ducks show on Disney Plus is going to try to ride the wave of nostalgia that Cobra Kai has mastered over the last few years. (Rolling Stone)