I’m going to be honest with you: at times, I’ve had a hard time getting into this Bruins season.
My guess is that it’s because of the way last season ended. When the team gets that close, it’s kind of hard to get psyched up for the regular season. The whole thing ends up being a “let’s get to the playoffs” type thing, “let’s get back to where it counts.”
Every season has its ups and downs, of course, and this year was no different. There were times where this Bruins team was riveting, and times where it was “say, what else is on?” Still, it’s fun to follow what was a very good team, even if the regular season felt a little like a slog that we all needed to get through in order for the real games to begin.
I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that this entire thing is surreal. The announcement today wasn’t surprising, and really, the NBA’s last night wasn’t super surprising. The suddenness of it was a little shocking, but it was always something that most thought could happen.
Still, there’s something bizarre about the headline “NHL suspends its season due to COVID-19.” Think about how absurd that would have sounded back on Opening Night?
I work in healthcare now, so I’ve been following this whole thing closer than many people; in some cases, it’s been too close, as it’s easy to get yourself wrapped up in the Internet.
This thing is serious, and the sports leagues of the world are doing the right and smart thing. For most people, sports are an escape, a distraction from the day-to-day. With those taken away, maybe we can focus on this reality and can all do our part to prevent it from spreading. Hockey will be back at some point, and we’d all like every hockey fan possible to be healthy and around to enjoy it.
But there’s no denying this is tough. It’s tough for fans, especially of teams like the Bruins who had a legit shot to win it all. However, it’s a lot tougher for all of the non-athletes who will be hurt by this. The ushers, concession workers, Bull Gang. The Garden-area bars, their bartenders and waitstaff. The pizza joints, even the guys and girls who hawk the $5 hats.
All of that is why even though we all know this is the smart thing to do, there are a couple of layers of fear involved: one about the virus itself, and another about what these cancellations will do to the livelihoods of good people.
What’s the solution? Hard to say. It’s probably not a great idea to say “go pack the bars around North Station anyways!” because that’s not exactly social distancing. Support small businesses how you can...we’ll all have to figure out how that works.
In an ideal situation, the Bruins will be back on the ice a couple of months from now. The season will resume in time to have a full slate of playoff games, and the Bruins will go on another run. This thing will be under control, and we (the global “we”) will have learned a lesson as a society on how to deal with things like this.
Spring was always my favorite time of the hockey year. This won’t land if you don’t live on the East Coast, but there’s always been something cool about the turn of the weather and the sun setting later. Snap your fingers, and all of a sudden a 7 PM game that started in the pitch darkness is starting at twilight.
Gameday attire shifts from winter hats and coats to short sleeves and drinking on patios. You watch a game at home with the windows open. It’s weird, wild stuff.
What is the point of all of this? Truly, I have no idea. It’s a stream-of-consciousness post. A weird post for a weird time.
Truthfully, I’m not sure what the next few weeks hold for this site. We’ll do our best to keep up the conversation and keep you all informed, but I’m not sure what that looks like.
Until then, wash your hands. Check in on your loved ones. Be decent to each other. And keep commenting.
Also, wash your hands.