Barring a setback, the Bruins will have just four more games of piped-in, artificial crowd noise at TD Garden before the doors open back up for fans to return back to the building they’ve been locked out of since last March.
“Definitely looking forward to it,” Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron said. “We all talked about it and how excited, how nice it’s going to be to have the fans back. And it makes a big difference. You have to take them out of the of the buildings to realize how big of an influence of an impact they have on games. And it’s just a fact.”
The Garden won’t be rocking like it was in its last B’s game with fans in attendance, which was a rowdy, scrap-filled Saturday night tilt with the Lightning, with 10 percent capacity enforced out of the gate beginning Mar. 23.
But 10 percent is better than zero percent, as the Bruins realized during their weekend series at Madison Square Garden, which was their first game of the 2021 season with fans in the stands.
“To be honest with you, in New York, even though it was a small amount, it made a difference,” Bergeron admitted. “It was great to have some fans in there, even though they were rooting for the Rangers. It was just great to have some energy in the building and its atmosphere and definitely looking forward to that at home.”
“You could definitely tell [in New York], like those energy moments when you score a goal on either side of things,” Brandon Carlo said. “We wanted to score the first goal to to take the fans and the building out of it. But you also can gain a lot of energy. And I’m excited to feel that again in Boston.
“It’s like no other rink. Honestly, we have such great fans and it’s a lot of fun to to play in those big moments with the fans and embrace those opportunities alongside them. So I’m really excited. I’m happy it’s starting to progress, even though it’s a small number right now, it does make a big difference.”
The Bruins are off to a 5-1-0 start at home in 2021, and have a .752 point percentage at home since the start of the 2017-18 season, which stands as the second-best in all of hockey over that span (Tampa’s Bay No. 1, at .754).