What to look for at each arena during Stanley Cup Playoffs

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 playoffs were played in bubbles in Edmonton and Toronto, and last season, attendance was limited in certain cities.

But fans will be back and to celebrate the occasion, is taking a look at one special in-arena feature from each of the 16 teams who made the playoffs.

Boston Bruins

The Bruins have gotten in the habit of hugging it out at TD Garden. Well, at least their goaltenders have. Since the start of this season, jeremy swayman and Linus Ulmark have given each other a big celebratory bear hug after every win. After their teammates start to leave the ice, the goalies approach each other, lean forward, then stand up again with their arms flung back. The tradition is sure to continue in the postseason.

Calgary Flames

If red is your color (and even if it isn’t), you’ll fit in well if you’re wearing it to Flames playoff games at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary fans make it a point to don the color for their traditional “C of Red” this time of the season. Oh, and be sure to emphasize, “C” during the “Oh say can you see” lyric in “The Star-Spangled Banner”. It’ll definitely be sung in the Western Conference First Round.

Carolina Hurricanes

Why beat around the bush here? It’s the Storm Surge at PNC Arena. It’s always the Storm Surge. As the Hurricanes have continued to find more success, they’ve wrapped up wins in the best ways possible, gathering in a postgame circle, hands overhead, clapping, and then putting their individual touch on a group celebration. Bunch of fun.

Colorado Avalanche

For those of us of a certain generation, hearing the Mario Bros. PowerUp sound effect at Ball Arena harkens us back to our 1980s-90s Nintendo-playing days. Not surprisingly, the PowerUp sound is played when the Avalanche successfully completes a penalty kill.

Dallas Stars

Fans have long screamed “Stars!” when that word is sung during the national anthem at American Airlines Center. “Puck Off,” created for the Stars by Pantera, a heavy metal band that formed in nearby Arlington, Texas, is played when the Stars come on the ice and when they score a goal. Dallas fans also sing along to “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks.

Edmonton Oilers

Oilers fans get a first-hand glimpse of players while standing outside of the Hall of Fame room at Rogers Place, where Edmonton players and coach Jay Woodcroft do their post-game interviews. It can get pretty boisterous after Edmonton wins, and expect the sidewalk to be packed with fans wanting to see and hear the Oilers throughout the playoffs. The plaza across the street from the arena will also be open for fans.

Florida Panthers

Memorabilia of all things Panthers, including their run to the 1996 Stanley Cup Final can be found at the Panthers Den of Honor at FLA Live Arena. The Den, which opened March 20, 2010 and is located between sections 115 and 121, pays tribute to players, coaches and moments in Panthers history.

Los Angeles Kings

Los Angeles has its share of stars given its proximity to Hollywood, and celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and Will Ferrell have done pump-up videos. But for us, it goes back to South Park’s Eric Cartman welcoming the opposition on the video board at what is now Arena. Side note: South Park co-creator Trey Parker was at Arena when the Kings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on April 21. Respect our authoritah!

minnesota wild

Minnesota always comes strong early with a youth flag bearer (a different child each game) who skates to the middle of the ice at Xcel Energy Center prior to the anthem. There’s also the “Let’s Play Hockey!” chant led by a person or group special to the state. And if you need a nosh, enjoy some mini donuts from Sections 126 and 227. You’ll smell those delectable little beauties as soon as you walk in the building.

Nashville Predators

Fans hitting a car with the logo of the opposing team (SMASHCAR) with a sledgehammer outside Bridgestone Arena, catfish flying onto the ice prior to puck drop, fans telling opposing goaltenders what they think of him after he gives up a goal; take your pick. There’s plenty of atmosphere in Nashville, outside or inside the arena.

New York Rangers

If it’s the last television timeout during the third period at Madison Square Garden, it’s time for Dancin Larry. The longtime Rangers staple (he’s been grooving at games since the mid-1990s) busts a move to “Strike It Up” by Black Box. The Garden also has celebrity welcomes during which they show stars in attendance on the video board.

Pittsburgh Penguins

As players move to center ice for the opening face-off, keep your ears perked for broadcaster Mike Lange’s “It’s a hockey night in Pittsburgh” playing at PPG Paints Arena. Or you’ll hear, “It’s a Great Day For Hockey” if it happens to be a day game, the catchphrase of Bob “Badger Bob” Johnson, who led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup in 1990-91, the only season he coached them.

St.Louis Blues

“Sweet Caroline” was originally set as the arena sing-along song but when it failed to catch on during Blues games, Enterprise Center operations director Jason Pippi decided to play “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver instead. The tradition, which began in February 2019, lives on as Blues fans continue to sing it loud and proud.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Before the Lightning drop the puck at Amalie Arena, their fan club Sticks of Fire does its “March to the Match.” The march begins at a local establishment, goes through Thunder Alley and into the arena as fans cheer the procession. By the way, Sticks of Fire, whose members sit in Section 307, has their own Twitter handle as well (@SticksofFireSG).

Toronto Maple Leafs

Can’t get into Scotiabank Arena for the game? Fear not. Just join a few thousand other fans at Maple Leafs Square, where home and road games are shown on a big screen on the outside wall of the arena. The square should be especially raucous for Game 1, the first NHL playoff game anywhere in Canada with a full arena since the Maple Leafs lost to the Boston Bruins 4-2 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference First Round on April 21, 2019.

Washington Capitals

We’re all used to a song playing when a goal is scored. For the Capitals at Capital One Arena, however, it’s a different goal song for each player. when alex ovechkin scores, it’s “Shake, Rattle & Roll”. forward TJ Oshieit’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, for defenseman John Carlson it’s “Johnny B. Goode” and so on. It’s a nice personal spin to a celebration.


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