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TD Garden
Boston, MA

NHL Arena vitals

Opened: September 30, 1995
Capacity: 17,565 seats
Mascot: Blades (Bear)
Team Chant: Let's Go BRU-iuns!
Draft Beer: $8.25
Hot Dog: $4.50
Arena Parking: $25.00
TD Garden

100 Legends Way

Boston, MA 02114
Get Directions


Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Boston Bruins: March 5, 2011, 3-2 Loss
The city of Boston’s reputation for great sports fans is well deserved, as the emotional investment that’s made on the part of these fans into their local teams is evident all over the city.  To truly appreciate the Bostonian Sports scene, if you're visiting from out of town, I’ve found that it’s important to stop in on several hotspots around town in order to soak up the local culture and actually become a part if it.  So in an effort to personally understand what the Beantown NHL hockey experience is all about, I was on hand in early March to watch the Boston Bruins take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden as part of my Frozen Pond Pilgrimage.

Cheers, Bull and Finch Pub - Frozen Pond PilgrimageI began my Boston Bruins experience with a visit to a place that’s developed iconic status in the area since the 1980’s, the old Bull and Finch Pub, which today is simply known as “Cheers”.  The exterior is immediately recognizable, but fans of the popular sitcom will quickly realize that the producers of the show took several creative liberties in designing the interior of the bar for the show’s set. Once you step into the bar “where everybody knows your name,” you won’t recognize it at all.  The menu at Cheers is solid, but not spectacluar.  The burgers are good, clam chowder is excellent, but it’s more about the experience of sitting in the bar that inspired one of the most successful sitcoms of all time that has so many returning to 84 Beacon Street for a brew. So have a few pints of the excellent micro brews on tap, purchase a Cheers beer mug or two and be on your way, because there’s lots more to see and do in preparation for an evening of NHL hockey at TD Garden.

Green Dragon Tavern - Boston, MA, FrozenPondPilgrimage.comWhenever I travel to Boston, I like to include a stop at one of the more seasoned locations in town … a bar with some real history behind it. One of my favorites is the Green Dragon Tavern. The Green Dragon Tavern originally opened in 1657 in a location across the street from its present resting place. During the American Revolution, it served as a meeting place for Boston Revolutionaries including the likes of Samuel Adams, Daniel Webster, and Paul Revere. Historians have referred to the Green Dragon Tavern as the “headquarters of the revolution” due to the secret meetings that were held in the basement of the establishment over a pint or two of ale. The Boston Tea party was planned there and Paul Revere was sent from there to Lexington on his famous ride. Today the establishment maintains all of its charm. Period décor allow patrons to step back in time to an era when our country was young and liberty was not guaranteed. The food at the Green Dragon Tavern is excellent and visitors should be sure to try a pint of the Green Dragon Ale to wash it down with.

Warmups at TD Garden behind the net - Hans SteinigerAfter a few choice libations, it was time to stumble over to TD Garden, home of the Boston Bruins, to focus on some old school NHL Hockey. Bruins fans are incredibly passionate about their team, a fact that’s clearly evident as you walk into the main concourse area, as fans cloaked in black and gold wander about shouting team chants and slapping high fives. TD Garden is abuzz with fan excitement these days, especially with the Boston Bruins hanging on to the second place playoff seed in the conference. Prior to gametime, I wandered down to the glass behind the net, right at ice level, to watch the teams warm up. I was amazed at the precision and power of the pros as they unloaded laser-sighted wrist shots peppering the goalie like a submachine gun. The misses that rang off the glass gave a true indication of NHL power as the players skated by inches from my face. It was certainly impressive.

Hans Steiniger at TD Garden - Boston BruinsAfter the warm-up, we made our way to our seats, just in time for the puck to drop between the Bruins and Penguins. After a hard fought first period, the scoring opened up in the second with a goal by the 6’9” captain for the Boston Bruins, defenseman Zdeno Chara. The Penguins responded with two goals in the second period and looked to have the game in hand trying to hold off the Bruins for the last few seconds.  However, with 33 seconds left in regulation, Bruins center, David Krejci, buried the equalizer while Boston had the man advantage with goalie Tim Thomas on the bench. Pittsburgh would later claim the victory 1:52 into the overtime period with Dustin Jeffrey’s second goal of the game ending Boston's ten game winning streak.

Boston Beer Works on the Frozen Pond Pilgrimage - Boston BruinsPost game is a great time to grab a late dinner and a few pints of lager and the area around TD Garden is packed with all types of bars and restaurants that will appeal to any sports fan. I personally like Boston Beer Works. Boston Beer Works is a brewery with an excellent selection of their own special house microbrews and a full menu offering something for everyone. I’m always impressed by the selection on their menu and the locally brewed beer is second to none. We sat down for a few pints of the Bunker Hill Blueberry Ale and sampled their specialty sandwiches, but whether you’re looking for a full dinner or just a bite to eat pre or post game I would definitely check out Boston Beer Works.

Bobby Orr Statue - TD Garden, Boston BruinsWe capped of the night by stopping in at Sports Grille Boston, which is a great place to grab a few pints. The bar has a cozy, familiar feel that’s comfortable to be in. With flatscreen TV’s mounted all over the bar and a collection of sports memorabilia it’s a great place to gather before or after the game for a few drinks. Sports Grille Boston has a solid menu of pub grub, but I really like their half-pound hotdog. It’s not the best item on their menu (their sirloin tips and Buffalo Chicken Pizza attract a lot of attention), but there’s something about conquering all that processed meats that seemed to attract me to it. Before heading home, it was difficult not to stop in at McGann’s Irish Pub and The Harp for a couple pints of Guinness.

By that time the Bobby Orr statue depicting #4 flying through the air immediately after scoring “The Goal” to clinch the 1970 Stanley Cup Championship was calling me. So in honor of this Boston Bruins legend I attempted to recreate this iconic moment frozen in time. Considering my state, I thought I did a rather effective job, narrowly avoiding a treacherous concrete face plant as the earth came up to meet soon after the digital shutter clicked. I’m told these are the types of sacrifices that make one great.  Go Bruins!

For more information on the city of Boston, MA check out my other review by clicking on the link below:
     NHL: Boston Bruins, TD Garden - General Information
     NBA: March 4, 2011 - Golden State Warriors vs. Boston Celtics
     NBA: Boston Celtics, TD Garden - General Information

city of Boston local information

Top Tourist Attractions:
Quincy Market, Fenway Park 
The Freedom Trail, Paul Revere House, King's Chapel,
Old North Church
Salem, MA
Cheers "Where Everbody Knows Your Name"

Local Foods:
Clam Chowda, Fresh Lobster, Fresh Seafood
Boston Baked Beans

What They're Drinkin':
Sam Adams, Narragansett, Blueberry Ale

Fan Resources:
Pocket Map of Boston
Metro Rail Map (MBTA)
Arena Policy
Arena Parking Map

Local Sports Media:
The Boston Globe
Boston Herald
The Providence Journal
Popular Bars:
TD Garden Area (The Four's, Boston Beer Works, Sullivan's
     Tap, Sports Grille Boston, McGann's Irish Pub, The Harp)
Faneuil Hall (Black Rose, The Tap, Red Hat)
Doyle's Cafe, Franklin Cafe, Oak Bar

Best Restaurants:
Union Oyster House (oldest oyster bar in America)
Cheers "Where Everbody Knows Your Name"
No Name Restaurant (fresh seafood)
Durgin-Park (fantastic classic New England restaurant)
Warren Tavern (historic location serving local chow)

Where to Stay:
Definitely plan on staying in downtown Boston. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to lose yourself in history, dine on fresh seafood, or enjoy the fascinating nightlife offered downtown. The Radisson Hotel Boston or Nine Zero are both situated within walking distance of all that downtown Boston has to offer.  The Liberty Hotel is also very nice; it's located on Beacon Hill.

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