By Ethan Nash
There are over 17,000 screaming fans at TD Garden for every Boston Bruins home game. Every time there’s a crushing hit, a crucial save or a spectacular goal, fans rise to their feet and combine to make a deafening sound. It truly is a beautiful sight to behold.
In the past, the Bruins have been able to lean on the crowd for an adrenaline boost. For example, just take a look at last year’s playoffs. In the first game of the Stanley Cup Final, the black and gold went down 2-0. After the Bruins cut the lead in half, they rode the crowd’s momentum to a 4-2 victory.
Another instance was Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2018 when the Bruins were led by the heroic play of Jake DeBrusk en route to a 7-4 win. Neither of these victories would have been as smooth if it hadn’t been for the Bruins fanbase’s support.
And oh, let’s not forget the sheer awesomeness of the ovation Zdeno Chara received last June to continue playing in the Stanely Cup even with a broken jaw:
If this doesn’t give you goosebumps, I don’t know what will.
However, unfortunately for the B’s, this year is a bit different. The only fans that will be in attendance will be well, fans:
The Bruins won’t be able to rely on the crowd for support.
No crowd was an issue in Sunday’s matinee against the Washington Capitals, where the Bruins came out strong in the opening frame. Despite being down 1-0 at the end of the first period, all four lines for the Bruins looked like they had found their groove again.
But it didn’t last.
The Bruins looked sluggish the rest of the way, unable to generate much offense. They went 0-2 on the power play, and their lone goal of the game came with under 10 minutes remaining in the third period, too little too late.
There were no chants of “Let’s go Bruins” in the middle frame and no collective “TUUUUUUU” after a big save from Vezina Finalist Tuukka Rask. And that’s the way it’s going to be the rest of the playoffs.
The B’s didn’t hold the lead in their exhibition game against the Columbus Blue Jackets or their three round-robin tilts. Continually having to play from behind and claw – pun intended – your way back into games spells trouble, especially in the playoffs and especially without the support of the home crowd.
I wish I had the answer to what the Bruins need to do, but I don’t think there is one answer. As fans, we feel helpless because there isn’t much we can do besides hope and pray that the black and gold can turn it around.
Either way, the Carolina Hurricanes are waiting at the door, and after they swept the New York Rangers, the Bruins better be ready for the storm coming their way.