If you could choose one city to visit among the 16 playoff teams, Nashville would surely be near the top of your list.
In fact, why don’t we just decide this right now.
Of the 16 playoff cities, which would you fly to first?
This poll is closed
Even during the regular season, you will be hard-pressed to find a rowdier arena than Bridgestone. With chants of “hey, you suck!” peppering the road team after every goal, it’s undoubtedly not an easy place to play.
During the playoffs? The atmosphere gets turned up to 11. Last year, we watched the Tennessee Titans offensive linemen drink beer out of a catfish. How do they even top that this year? Bring out a mechanical bull during pre-game?
Anyways, the Predators should be considered one of the favourites to come out of the West, even though they’re facing a stingy Stars team in Round One. If they do get past the first round, they should end up facing a battle-tested team in St. Louis or Winnipeg.
Can Nashville make it past Winnipeg this time? Are they actually the most fun city in the NHL? I turned to Hayley Alexandra from On the Forecheck for some insight.
Nashville set the bar during their Cup Final run a few years ago and they changed the way the league looked at hockey in a southern market. There is absolutely nothing like playoff hockey in Nashville. The whole city is a buzz from sun up to sun down on game day. You can feel it in the air until the puck drops. They took everything that made Nashville Music City and used it to create Nashville’s version of a hockey city and they’ve never looked back. From throwing cat fish, goalie taunts, country stars, to smashing cars for charity they’ve taken the NHL to another level here. It’s a spectacle. You’re either going to absolutely love it, or absolutely hate it. If you want to watch a hockey team and city have an absolute blast, Nashville’s your team. Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself sticking around once October rolls back around.
2) Usually, teams that are easy to cheer for, have players that are easy to cheer for. Which players should we be rooting for on Nashville?
The list of players you shouldn’t root for might be shorter! The line to watch is hands down Viktor Arvidsson, Ryan Johansen, and Filip Forsberg. Or JOFA if you’re already a fan. This line is lethal. They’re capable of things that leave even their own teammates in awe. Pekka Rinne won the Vezina trophy last year and finished the regular season as the NHL’s second star of the week. He’s another one of those players you always have to watch because just when you think you’ve seen him make every impossible save their is, he finds away to doing something even more outrageous that shouldn’t be humanly possible. You can’t forget P.K. Subban, he’s always having fun and playing his game, and when he gets going you know it’s going to be a good night.
3) There’s a good chance that Nashville will face a Canadian team in Winnipeg or Calgary at some point in the playoffs. Do you think the Preds are equipped to beat either of those teams in a seven-game series?
Winnipeg had Nashville’s number last year, but I didn’t like their play towards the end of the regular season. If they manage to get past St. Louis and into the second round, I’m not sure how much steam they’ll have left to make it any further. Calgary snuck up on me this year. I had no idea they were having such a great season until they took the Western Conference. That’s a dangerous team to be in the playoffs, the one no one saw coming. When it comes to Nashville though, they’re relentless in the post-season, they’ve stood tall in series over the years where they had no business winning a single game. If you back them into a corner they’re going to come out and play their best hockey. When they’re playing their best hockey on home ice it’s not usually a good night for the visiting team.
A big thanks for Hayley from On the Forecheck for trying to persuade us to cheer for the Preds. Not the toughest job for our Nucks Misconduct Bandwagon Outreach Program.
I have the Preds making it to the Conference Finals in this year’s playoffs, but they are poised to make a run to the Cup Final. Can they make it back to the dance for the second-time in franchise history?