Bruins worth price of admission – and more

I tried to keep an open mind Thursday night. My son, Ollie, had asked about attending a Bruins game. He’s been to the Celtics, Pats and Red Sox often, but never the B’s.

Not to cover a game. Not as a fan. Nothing.

So we gave it a shot. Myself, Ollie (a high school senior), my wife and a friend picked up four tickets for Thursday night’s game with the Philadelphia Flyers.

For the record, I had not been to a National Hockey League game since 1987 when the Winnipeg Jets and Dale Hawerchuk hit the Garden – the old Garden – for a Saturday matinee.

The lone memory from that one is that I picked up the tickets, the parking and the sausage subs before, all for one of the most boring athletic events I’ve ever attended.

OK, ticket prices have gone up a bit over the past 31 years. Pretty sure my balcony seats in ’87 ran about $12 a pop.

Thursday night’s tickets in row 10 at the blue line were $135 apiece face value, and through a Facebook friend of my wife’s, that’s what we paid.

Before we hit the seats, it cost us $48 to park and $30 more for pizza across Causeway Street, so we’re talking over $600 before the opening faceoff.

Believe it, though. The Bruins delivered.

First on, the package.

Honestly, when the teams took the ice for pre-game warmups, it felt like an event.

Remember, the last pro hockey game I went to was the AHL’s Lowell Devils when Ollie was about 7. Being 10 rows off the ice at the Garden, you can appreciate just how talented these guys are.

Television does pro hockey no justice. Honestly, I covered the New England Patriots from the press box for 18 seasons. Football needs television.

Hockey gets hosed by it.

The lighting speed of the game, the physicality, it’s so enhanced when you see the full-scale package.

TV doesn’t catch the constant hack-fest going on between Boston’s Brad Marchand and whichever opponent is skating his lane.

Marchand is a one-man “Survivor” episode on skates, willing to lay down the lumber as much/more than he takes it.

You have no idea how incredible an athlete Zdeno Chara is until you watch him on the ice, from end to end, with or without the puck.

He’s every bit the athlete his 40-something contemporary Tom Brady is.

The TD Garden gets it done when it comes to comfort and gimmickry. The big screens, the dancing fans, the contests all work.

Most importantly, though, the product on ice works. Big time.

The 2018 Bruins have talent and flair, grit and goal-scoring. They are a formidable NHL playoff entity, and remember, Patrice Bergeron, Charlie MacAvoy and David Backes all had the night off when I was in town.

Don Sweeney did right by this group. He brought in Rick Nash and Brian Gionta, seasoned vets, to help during the playoff run.

And this team just keeps rolling along. Yes, at over $700 for the night, things are pricey.

But in the 2018 Bruins case you get what you pay for.

Contact Hector Longo at hlongo@nashatelegraph.com.