Once again, the Los Angeles Kings were unable to make the playoffs. This was not entirely unexpected.
Though I must admit, in February of this year, I thought they could do it. I was wrong.
As the saying goes, there's always next year.
Still, I was salivating for this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs with or without my favorite team. Playoff hockey is something that cannot truly be explained in words. (Let's forget that this creates quite a paradox for me here).
The Anaheim Ducks have been playoff participants for a few years now, and that is certainly an understatement for the team that won The Cup two years ago.
I have had the fortune of attending some of their postseason contests, but this year that felt unsatisfying.
So, I decided to head East where more of the masses are hockey fans and thus, I might find a different atmosphere.
Upon entering the TD Banknorth Garden, it became evident that this is a hockey haven; a true Original Six holy land.
The walls are alive with the purest excitement for hockey that I have ever experienced. The chants of "Let's go Bruins!" echoes through the halls every step of the way.
This electricity only increased throughout the course of the game. The crowd not only reacts to the game, but participates in it—they feed off the energy of the team, the game, and the arena itself.
The team also, so clearly feeds off the crowd. I have never seen a more accurate manifestation of the term "Home Court Advantage" in my short life.
I have also never stood in line as long for the bathroom, which is a testament to the fact that no one wanted to leave their seat during the game.
This was also true at the end of the game as very few patrons were eager to "beat the crowd." Everyone there IS the crowd, together, in unison.
If anyone reading this ever has the opportunity to attend a game at the TD Banknorth, don't hesitate.
Oh, and beware the bear.