NHL lockout: 5 ways to get back in the hockey mood ahead of Bruins season

The bear.

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen some Old Time Hockey on the ice of the TD Garden and we understand that some Bruins fans might not be quite prepared for the sprint of a hockey season that is about to get underway.

Many fans weren’t expecting a hockey season to take place at all and now the regular season could kick off as soon as the end of this month with the NHL lockout finally coming to an end and the owners ratifying the new contract yesterday.

We’ve compiled a list of things to do, eat, watch, etc., to help you get pumped up for the Bruins and in the hockey spirit.

*As the National Hockey League players, owners and league executives left the fans out in the cold as they bickered for months, passionate NHL hopefuls were playing hard and took to the ice in recent weeks.
Boston is lucky to have more than a few good college hockey programs. The kids on these teams aren’t ever going to lockout their fans and buying your way into Agganis, Matthews or the Heights is a lot cheaper than getting into the Garden. While we wait to watch Milan Lucic, Tyler Seguin and Tuukka Rask take the ice, catch a game and see some hungry players who play not for millions of dollars, but for the sport.
College hockey info can be found here, unless you’re an Ivy League fan, then you can click here.

*While the lockout canceled half of the regular season, one game that many hockey fans surely missed was the annual Winter Classic on New Year’s Day. There will be no outdoor game this year, but you can get your skating legs back and find your passion for the ice by taking a spin on your local rink whether it be Frog Pond or the Murphy skating rink in South Boston. And, if there’s enough ice of course, what’s better than skating on your local pond or lake? A list of local skating rinks with public skating hours can be found here.

*There’s a reason the hometown team is called the Big Bad Bruins. The Bs have built their reputation as a tough-skating team for years. Here are a few videos (here, here and here) that will be sure to get your blood flowing black and gold again. And of course we can’t leave out the bear, who sums up our feelings best:

*What says a night out at the Garden more than rushing into Halftime Pizza for a quick bite and a beer before a Bruins game? Well the Causeway Street eatery isn’t just open before or after Garden events so you can stop in and grab some grub to get your stomach prepared for the season.

*Some hockey fans, especially ones new to the sport since the Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup win, forget that for decades there were only six teams in the entire NHL. The Boston Bruins, of course, were one of those teams. In the team’s nearly 90-year history there have been a lot of players to wear the black and gold sweater and one of best players to put it on was Bobby Orr. Pay your respects to  No. 4 by visiting his recently dedicated statue just outside the Garden. Or if you can’t make it there, you can watch part of the ceremony here:


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