There has been much said about the atmospheres inside of Bridgestone Arena and MTS/Memorex Plaec (or is it Place in Canada also) in Winnipeg during the 2nd round match up between the Jets and Predators. Of course, the hockey world was introduced to the entertainment value that the Predators bring along in Nashville during playoff home games last year during their Stanley Cup run which took them to the final possible home game.
Then, you’ve got Jets’ captain, Blake Wheeler with his shot at the Predators game presentation, saying, “Our fans are huge. It’s real, too,” Wheeler said. “Our crowd noise is from the crowd. It’s not from speakers or music or live bands or whatever. That’s people making noise and that goes right through your body.” However, thanks to the antics of Jeremy Roenick on Monday night, as he was walking around in a whiteout get up, presented a decibel meter that reflected 110 after former Winnipeg great, Teemu Selanne was shown on the jumbotron. Nashville has been averaging 105-110 and they haven’t brought out David Legwand yet.
Predators President and CEO, Sean Henry confirmed at the start of the playoffs that the Nashville faithful would be treated to the celebrity turnstile to sing the national anthem(s). “The people that you see on the ice, singing the anthem, waiving the towel, supporting the team and having fun with it, they’re fans,” Henry said. “We’re not flying people in and paying them some appearance fee just to do this for the exposure and media, these are people that want to be a part of it, and if the schedules allow, it’s pretty powerful when they can be out there, because they’re season ticket holders, they’re suite holders, they’re longtime supporters or ingrained in what our normal game presentation is.”
So, on Thursday during Game 7, with all of the other series decided, the entire hockey world will once again cast their eyes, and ears, to lower Broadway with the question more often asked than “Who’s in net?”
“Who’s going to sing the anthem tonight?”
Henry and the Predators have always held the identity of the singer close to the vest prior to leading said performer(s) out onto the ice (the only exception being last year’s game 6 in the Stanley Cup Final when the conscientious was leaning toward either Tim McGraw or Faith Hill). With that being said, this is game 7…this is not the time to be tweaking things. If it works, it works, and you don’t question it. Playoff beards. Unwashed socks. Underwear worn inside out on game days, backwards on off days. If it works, you don’t mess with it.
So, Thursday night, Carrie Underwood needs to belt out one of the most passionate renditions of the Star Spangled Banner that she has ever had.
And the Titans need to have all the fish-beer on earth ready to go.
Last year, the combination of Underwood and the offensive line came out as the inaugural “anthem act” and propelled the Preds to their first 3-0 series lead in franchise history against the Blackhawks (who went on to complete the sweep…I bring this up for no reason other than the fact that sweeping the Blackhawks should always be brought up when you have an opportunity). This year, Carrie and the O-Liners (royalties made payable to Anthony Jaremko, care of Penalty Box Radio) came back in Game 2 against the Jets after Dierks Bentley and Del McCoury started off round 2 with a loss. Without missing a beat, the Preds responded with a victory.
The Preds are 3-3 at home in these playoffs. This is not the time to bring in someone like Florida Georgia Line, who is the Nickelback of country music. No. Just…uh-uh! When asked about goaltending, coaches typically say you stick with who got you there. That shouldn’t change for the entertainment either. She’s at the Opry on Friday…so we know she’s got nothing else going on.
While we’re at it…I think that Scott Hartnell guy has done pretty well. I think he deserves another look too.