Why Has TD Garden Stopped Providing Advantage For Bruins?

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BOSTON — The Bruins haven’t exactly been world-beaters at TD Garden lately, have they?

The B’s have hosted more playoff games than any other team in the NHL since the 2008-2009 season, but hold a measly 19-18 record across that stretch. Boston hasn’t exactly provided a “home-ice advantage” for the Black and Gold, and there’s no surefire explanation for it.

“It used to mean everything in the 70s and 80s,” Montgomery said. “It seems like it’s been mitigated… I’ve seen our team feel extra pressure. I’ve seen our team just go out and play loose. It just depends on where the series is at.

“I also think there is a negative side to playing at home — when your fans start to boo you, it impacts your players. It just does… It’s not a lack of effort, like players aren’t trying to win. It’s just sometimes you’ve got to be patient, and it’s easier to be patient on the road. You can be down 1-0 and still play your game. Those things factor in, they just do.”

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It’s gotten so worrisome that the B’s essentially simulated their most recent home games as if they were away, staying in a hotel the night before and arriving to TD Garden on team shuttles. It certainly wasn’t a bad strategy the first time they used it, which came prior to Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Montgomery wouldn’t confirm whether or not he intended on implementing it Thursday for Game 6 against the Florida Panthers, but did admit it’s under consideration.

The Bruins who will actually be taking the ice Friday still view the home game as a positive, though.

“It’s nice that we’ll get to play at home in front of our fans,” Pavel Zacha said following practice. “… We just have to focus on the little things, but playing at home is always more fun. I think it’s a positive, they can help us create some momentum.”

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TD Garden will be rocking, especially if a certain someone finds himself back in the lineup. The Panthers might just start packing for their return to Florida in that case.

“Our fans are passionate, they’re awesome, and they love him,” Montgomery said of Bruins captain Brad Marchand. “If he can go tomorrow, I think it’ll be pretty loud and exciting. We’re counting on them to help us (in Game 6).”

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