CHICAGO — Is Nashville a little nervous about tonight’s NHL playoffs?
The Predators take on the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 at Bridgestone Arena, and the Predators are already trying to shake things up.
Chicago fans suspect questionable ticket sales are meant to keep Hawks fans out of the stadium. The controversy suggests out-of-towners will have trouble getting in the stadium. To that Kevin Wilson, a spokesman for the team, said:
“Our first obligation to our team, our incredible fans and our community is maintaining Bridgestone Arena’s fan friendly and entertaining atmosphere and environment while providing our team the maximum home ice advantage it deserves – our ticket plans and policies reflect that obligation. And as we do every game, we welcome and appreciate fans of our opponents and hope they enjoy our southern hospitality and the Smashville game experience.”
And now comes word that the Predators are trying to throw Chicago fans by conducting a National Anthem “sing-a-long” before the game. Blackhawks fans are famous for hoopin’ and hollerin’ through the whole song from start to finish, but Nashville fans apparently see it as a distraction and a sign of disrespect. They hope the sing-a-long will drown out the raucous out of town hockey fans clad in red and black.
The Predators front office tells WGN they selectively choose to cue up the crowd supported sing-a-long with no rhyme nor reason. Will it deter or intimidate Chicago fans who’ve travelled to see the game?
Fans here say, doubtful.