The Nashville Predators are in the Playoffs and this town will be painted Gold!
BECAUSE IT’S THE CUP! is a saying that is going around on Twitter and various social sites. It is so much more than just a saying, though, there is a real difference in playoff hockey both on the ice and in the seats.
We have a co-worker in our office that is going to her first game at Bridgestone Arena tonight. It will also be her first Playoff game. Did I mention that she is a transplant from Southern California and a big Anaheim Ducks fan? She had a lot of questions including will she be abused for wearing Ducks jerseys.
Fellow Nashville Predators fans told her that unlike other arenas around the league, she would probably encounter some good-natured ribbing, especially if the Preds build a lead but that she shouldn’t really worry about personal attacks. Knowing her, she is not going to be like an obnoxious Blackhawks fan so she should have a great time.
It made us think though that there will be quite a few folks in the Bridgestone for several reasons that it might be their first hockey game but more likely their first live Playoff Game. We can tell you from experience that there is nothing else like it. (Although, rabid SEC fans have a pretty good idea)
With that in mind, here are a few things that you might look for. We also wrote the Ultimate Fan Guide to the Playoffs here:
But going to the Bridgestone during the playoffs is something special. It will be so GOLD that you might want to wear shades. There will be a fantastic light and laser show beforehand. Expect to see a fat, fresh Catfish on the ice, hopefully before the game so there is no penalty.
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The sound level will nearly be enough to know the Bridgestone Arena off it’s foundation. You will be able to hear it as far away as Franklin or Hermitage and it just might register on the Richter Scale as a small earthquake.
Play on the ice is different too. There will be lots of physicality both during and after the play. Don’t look away after the whistle, there tend to be a few “dances” where players ask each other how their “Moms” are and such. There is usually a little less fighting in the Playoffs but there is a lot more pushing and shoving.
According to this article at FiveThirtyEight, they looked at 144 playoff teams from 2005 to 2015 and there was actually an increase of about 36% in hits during the playoffs. We’ve certainly seen it so far in this series, with tons of hits from both teams.
There’s no time to check your phone during game action. Regular play seems like triple fast in the playoffs. Take a deep breath and relax if you can during intermissions because the action is non-stop during the game. Every play, every score, every save is important. It’s all stepped up to a new level.
If it’s your first game at the ‘Stone, there are a few things you will encounter but just go with the flow. Preds fans are so courteous that that they yell, “THANKS, PAUL” to PA Announcer Paul McCann every time he announces there is one minute remaining in the period. They “lovingly” let the other goaltender that IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT after he gives up a goal. There are a few others that you will enjoy as well.
If you hear the chant, “WE WANT FROSTYS!”, that means that the Nashville Predators have scored their third goal and the next one will bring a free Frosty from Wendy’s after the game with your ticket. And a GOO GOO Goal is a goal scored by the Preds in the last five minutes of the second period. And a shutout is good for a DONUT at Dunkin’ Donuts. You can go into a Diabetic attack just by attending a Nashville Predators game!
Oh yeah, after the game when the players all skate to center ice and hold their sticks up into the air….that’s to acknowledge you fans for your help and inspiration during the game. A nice gesture and a great thing to see after the game!
In the end, there is nothing better than attending a Playoff Game at the Bridgestone Arena and it’s impossible to explain. Don’t worry, you will get pulled up in the energy and excitement shortly after you enter the building. Go Preds!