Please Do Not Tap on the Glass

Different teams in the NHL handle fan interaction in different ways, and while some teams keep things closer to the vest and leave fans in the dark, the Boston Bruins are relatively transparent (on the surface, anyway). The team is deeply entrenched in social media (Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter), and this way they keep fans updated with play-by-play, team events, interviews, injury reports, photos, videos, and interesting articles. In addition to all of this, the Bruins allow fans to spectate (free of charge) at rookie development camp, pre-season training camp and at team practices.

While practice may seem uninteresting to some, I find it allows me to connect more deeply with the players on my team. They allow us some superficial understanding of how they function as a team, and how they interact with each other as peers and as friends and it’s humanizing. You stop seeing them as automatons that exist solely to entertain you and start seeing them as the extraordinarily talented human beings that they are. When they’re having fun on the ice, you have fun watching them. It sounds lame but seriously, it’s the emotional aspects of sports that drew me in in the beginning and it’s stuff like this that makes it worthwhile. Plus if you’re somebody like me who’s always thirsty for a better understanding of the sport, going to practice helps a little bit. And it’s a great opportunity to meet up with other fans!

Under the cut, further information and some general advice about Bruins practices.


  • The Bruins practice schedule is located here. It’s updated at the beginning of  every month. Please note, however, that it is not updated when practice times are changed, when practice is moved to TD Garden, or if it’s cancelled all together.
  • Only the Bruins practices in Wilmington, MA (Ristuccia Arena) are open to the public.
  • The Bruins always practice at TD Garden on game days. As such, they are closed to the public. Occasionally a practice that was schedule at Ristuccia will get moved to TD Garden, and when that is the case Bish will make note of it.
  • John Bishop (Bish) has been better about posting reminders about practice on Twitter and on Tumblr. If you’re curious about whether or not practice has been moved or cancelled, check the Bruins’ Twitter and Tumblr.
  • When all else fails there’s a hotline you can call to double check. The number’s listed on the website.
  • Practice usually runs for about an hour, an hour and a half. They usually warm up, run a few drills, stretch, then wind down.
  • Due to some fans having difficulty behaving themselves, players will no longer stop to sign autographs after practice.


  • If the schedule says that practice starts at 10:30, get there at 10:30. I showed up at 11 for a 10:30 start time once and they were stretching already.
  • It’s extremely cold in Ristuccia. I was there yesterday, in FEBRUARY, and it was colder inside than it was outside. Dress warmly or lose your toes.
  • Bring a camera with you. The boys are entertaining. They usually horse around a lot after final stretches.
  • I know you think you’re cute and stuff pounding on the glass and screaming for Lucic to look at you, but he’s not going to look at you. He’s going to ignore you because you’re being extremely rude and obnoxious. They’re human beings, not animals. Knock it off. Everybody thinks you’re an asshole.
  • If you’re flinchy/easily frightened, stay away from the glass all together. Pucks are going to get shot at the glass in front of you. Some guys will do it on purpose if they know it scares you.
  • If your children are so disinterested in watching the Bruins practice that they’re crawling on/kicking other spectators, it’s time to go.
  • Like I mentioned before, too many people jumping the barrier/lurking around players’ cars/making players uncomfortable means the Bruins WILL NOT stop to give autographs after practice. Go get yourself some delicious Sonic!

That’s all I think. At any rate, Bruins practice is a great experience and we are blessed to have a team that’s as open as the Bruins are.



1 Response to “Please Do Not Tap on the Glass”

  1. 1 Keryn May 31, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    helpful but can u meet them after?

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