The second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs is finally here for the Boston Bruins and their fans. When the Bruins step on the ice for Game 1 against the New York Islanders tonight at TD Garden though, it won’t just be about the excitement of playoff hockey. This moment will mean so much more!
For the first time since March 7, 2020, TD Garden will be allowed to have more than 12-percent capacity (2,191). The last time there were this many Boston Bruins fans rocking the Garden was five days before the NHL, the city of Boston, the state of Massachusetts, and the United States essentially shutdown before being ravaged by a once in a lifetime pandemic, that has taken the lives of almost 595,000 Americans and brought the country’s economy to levels not seen since The Great Depression.
Today marks the start of what the state of Massachusetts and the city of Boston pray is a rebirth and the beginning of a comeback like the one Patrice Bergeron and the Boston Bruins completed in the third period and overtime of Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Late this afternoon, fans will jam a revamped and spanking new North Station that Bruins fans and the surrounding community never really got a chance to enjoy after a giant remodeling that began in 2018 had just started to gain traction when COVID hit. Gone are longtime staples of the North Station and West End like The Fours, Sullivan’s Tap, and McGann’s but Porter’s Pub, The Greatest Bar, The Harp, and an array of new establishments will be packed to the brim again!
The state of Massachusetts and the city of Boston are open again the excitement, emotion, and hope that comes with this reopening from hell is about to come pouring down onto the TD Garden ice.
“People are going to be nuts because they’ve been sitting there and they haven’t been able to go to a lot of games, and they’re going to be even that much more passionate about it,” former Boston Bruins winger and five-time Stanley Cup Champion Mark Recchi told Boston Hockey Now Friday night.
After an optional pre-game skate, Saturday morning, Recchi’s former teammate and current Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand was amped up for what he knows will be one of those moments where sports and life intertwine and lift the human spirit.
“We’re excited. Been a little envious watching the other games … Can’t wait to see that and how loud it’s going to be,” Marchand said.
Oh, it will be loud Brad, but more importantly, it will be the closest to normal anyone there in the building, watching on TV or listening on the radio has been since March 2020. When Marchand and the Bruins step onto the ice to ‘Cochise’ by Audioslave, as they have for every playoff game since 2009, there will be an electric release like we haven’t seen since that Bergeron goal and the 2011 Stanley Cup run!