The NHL Playoffs begin on Wednesday, Apr. 12, and as teams battle for the Stanley Cup, home-ice advantage becomes an increasingly important factor.
Out of the playoff teams competing, here are the top six venues with the best atmosphere moving into the playoffs:
6. New York Rangers
Madison Square Garden isn’t world renowned for nothing. The Garden is known for its passionate fans, “Sweet Caroline” singalongs, and New York City Fire Department Engines sounding off during home games.
5. Nashville Predators
Bridgestone Arena in Nashville holds 17,113 for Predators games, and has hosted more than 13 million guests since its 1996 opening. It was nominated for Pollstar Arena of the Year in 2016, but lost out to MSG.
4. Minnesota Wild
Minnesota is the “State of Hockey,” and has some of the most passionate fans in the league. An average of 19,000 turn out to Xcel Energy Center on game nights, and the venue had a sellout streak of 409 games.
3. San Jose Sharks
The Sharks have always had one of the loudest venues in the league. Though the 17,496 capacity is on the smaller side, fans put out up to 120 dB on a good night. An experience at the “Shark Tank” is a memorable one, complete with an organ, the Jaws theme song, and appearances by S.J Sharkie.
2. Chicago Blackhawks
United Center is known for a massive fanbase, reaching on average 21,600 per night. The center is the collaboration of former Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz and Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, and replaced the Chicago Stadium in 1994. The United Center is the country’s second largest arena and hosts over 200 events annually.
1. Montreal Canadiens
Montreal’s “Les Habitants” fill up Bell Centre to cheer on the Canadiens, reaching sound levels of 135 decibels. They have an average of 21,200 attendees, and the venue fits 21,273. One of the factors that makes this stadium stand out is the largely French-speaking culture. The Canadian national anthem is sung primarily in french, and fans can’t help but shout out that famous “ole” chant.