As many of you following the blog are aware, fellow General, Jaime organized a group trip to Nashville so we could watch the Devils take on the Predators. If you ever have the opportunity to go, Nashville is a great destination for hockey!
The Bridgestone Arena, home of the Nashville Predators, is a beautiful, huge arena, with a great view from any seat. When you buy tickets, you can even choose a package that includes an all-you-can-eat buffet of arena food. With a variety of options such as soda, pretzels, peanuts, popcorn, hotdogs and nachos there’s sure to be something for everybody. If you are part of the 21 and over set, they also offer an “adult” option which includes beer. The staff there are friendly and helpful, directed us when we were lost or just said hello and welcomed us to their city as we passed by.
As if all of that isn’t enough, the atmosphere during game time is incredibly fun. I am not certain if it is only an opening night event, or part of every game, but there was a live band playing all night. For opening night introductions, their cheerleaders skated out with a giant Nashville Predators flag, and danced and cheered. Gnash, the predators Saber-tooth tiger mascot, dropped in from the ceiling and the players all entered the ice through a giant Saber-tooth Tiger head!
The crowd knows how to have a good time, and they are loud and proud of it. Bring your sense of humor to Nashville (aka “Smashville”) because they do taunt the visiting team- loudly and in unison. All of it is in good humor though, and as a Nashville fan told me “Sure, we’ll tease you, but we’ll take you out for drinks afterward.” I definitely got teased, but everyone was smiling and pursuing friendly conversation. Many of the Predators fans we met were amazed we drove 15 hours for a hockey game, and all of them welcomed us to their city and hoped we were having an enjoyable visit.
Enjoy we did, as the Devils gave us a great performance, overcoming a 2 goal deficit to win in the shoot out. After listening to the arena taunt our players throughout the game, it felt great to see them fight back for the win! We had a big celebration up in our section with high fives, cheers of “MOOOOOOOOSE!”, “KO-VY!”, “Captain Zach” and “Let’s Go Devils” that I’m told could be heard on the telecast!
All of that just describes our game day experience. As you know if you followed Jaime or myself on Twitter, there was a lot of great sight seeing and activity within Tennessee. I was fortunate enough to fit in a visit to the Jack Daniel’s Distillery, which gives free walking tours to the public, and a visit to downtown Nashville where there are tons of places to eat, and live performances of country music to enjoy. Right next to the arena is the Country Music Hall of Fame as well, which offers a look at the history of country music and displays hundreds – probably thousands – of items from the genre’s greatest artists.
If you drive from New Jersey, the scenery is gorgeous, and we were fortunate to have sunny, temperate weather during our visit. If you ever get a chance to go, I highly recommend the trip. I would return in a heart beat!
This is the third arena outside of New Jersey that I have visited. I have a long way to go to catch up to Jaime, but I’m open to suggestions for my next trip!
So, Devils Army, where have you gone and what was your favorite part about your trip? Let us know in the comments!
I have lived the ultimate Devils fan dream. I got to interview Zach Parise. One on one, Zach and me… and a few camera guys. It was awesome! Zach was at the Prudential Center with a bunch of other big name hockey players the NHL Media Tour filming commercial spots and taking promo photos. They managed to squeeze some time in for me to ask him a few questions on behalf of the Devils Army.
With the help of the other Generals, I came up with a list of questions I would ask Zach. I shook off the nerves, tried to tame the excitement and went for it. Check out our quick Q&A, you might be surprised at some of his answers.
With the start of the season upon us, some of the Generals decided it was time to prove which one would be best at giving Lou Lamoriello a run for his money as best GM in hockey. Since there weren’t 20 teams willing to let a bunch of random people take over General Manager duties, we decided to start a fantasy hockey league instead.
On Sunday, September 25th, the Generals conducted their draft. There was already some trash-talking during the draft and that is sure to continue as the season gets under way.
The league consists of 20 teams, with 16 starters (3 C, 3 LW, 3 RW, 5 D, 2G) per team. There are six bench players per team.
Each week teams will go head-to-head against each other. There are four divisions – the Brodeur, Stevens, Daneyko and Niedermayer divisions – and the four division winners plus four wild-card teams will make the playoffs. Playoffs take place during the last three weeks of the season.
There were quite a few surprises during the draft (Hedberg going in the 2nd round, 28th overall… a full round before Brodeur) and, of course, Devils players were taken quickly. Adam Henrique was taken before Rick Nash, Patrick Sharp, Matt Duchene, John Tavares, Danny Briere and 388 other players.
Overall, every team seems to have its strengths and weaknesses. Some teams should rack up points in the offensive categories (G, A, +/-, PIM, PP Points, SH Points, SOG, Faceoff Wins, Hits, Blocked Shots), while others should dominate the goalie categories (W, GAA, Saves, S%, SO).
Below is a list of all the teams and their rosters. You can comment below to let us know who you feel will win it all. Who knows… the supporters of the winning team may be rewarded at the end of the season!
You can also follow the generals involved on Twitter, as trash-talking on there should escalate as the wins and losses pile up.
To view the standings and what division each team is in, go to the league page here:
The fans took over Anthony’s and ate up! Anthony’s set us up with some great food and drink specials. Between the wings, ribs and speciality pizza’s, there was plenty of food going around. Oh and I forgot about the sausage and peppers plates and flatbread. Needless to say, we were stuffed.
Our very own Jim Dowd stopped by and was happy to take pictures and sign autographs. A Patrik Elias bobblehead and an autographed Travis Zajac stick were raffled off in addition to our table of giveaways for everyone who stopped by.
There was a great turn out with plenty of red flowing through the doors and Devils stamped cars in the parking lot. Fans mingled with other fans, talked about what they expected out of the Devils this season and how excited they were for opening night. Some fans just talked about how excited they were for Jim Dowd, and that’s cool too. Thanks to everyone who joined us, see you on Saturday for Opening Night!
Check out more photos on our Flickr.