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!
After a great victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, the New Jersey Devils (2-1-0) travel down to Nashville for their one matchup against the Predators (2-1-0) this season.
Thursday’s game against the Kings was a game that every hockey fan dreams of. Drama, great action, overtime. The Devils were able to pull out the victory in the shootout, but they didn’t win quite the way they had hoped.
Martin Brodeur left Thursday’s game after the first period with “upper body soreness.” We now know he tweaked his right shoulder while making back-to-back game saving saves. Johan Hedberg stepped in and stopped everything that was thrown at him to collect his second win of the season.
Hedberg is expected to start tonight in Nashville. Brodeur made the trip with the team but will not be dressed as backup. Instead, the Devils called up rookie goaltender Keith Kinkaid from Albany. Devils GM Lou Lamiorello stated it’s for precautionary measures and Kinkaid will be back in Albany for their game tomorrow. The Devils have off until next Friday (10/21), so it makes sense to give Brodeur some extra rest.
The Devils are currently on a two-game winning streak after being blanked in their home opener last Saturday. The Predators are looking to bounce back after losing their home opener on Thursday.
Some lineup changes tonight as Adam Henrique was sent down to Albany. Lamiorello says it’s only because of the five days off the Devils have in-between games and he wants Henrique to play in Albany’s upcoming games to keep him in shape. Also, Rod Pelley is expected to be scratched, and Eric Boulton is expected to be back in after being scratched on Thursday.
Here are the projected lineups for tonight’s game:
Two of our Generals have made it out to Nashville for the game tonight: General Jaime and General Kim. Be sure to follow them on Twitter to get inside coverage of their trip. If you didn’t make it out to Nashville for the game, don’t worry. There is a viewing party tonight in Newark at Edison Ale House, located right across the street from the Prudential Center.
When the NHL schedule comes out every year in June, not only do I look at the home schedule to see which particular home games I’m looking forward to, I also look at the away schedule to see what road trips I can plan! And if you know me, you know that my goal is to see the Devils play in all of the NHL arenas. And if you didn’t know that, let me get you up to speed.
Prior to this season, my father and I had visited 28 of the 30 NHL arenas with a goal of traveling to all 30 by my 30th birthday. Well, with having already hit the big 3-0, and only two arenas to go, it is now time to wind down my NHL arenas tour. Part 1 of that goal will take place this weekend as the Devils hit the road for the first time this year, traveling down to Nashville to take on the Predators. The old man and I will be joining them, but we will not be alone, as we have put together a group road trip. That’s right, 25 of us are heading down to the “Music City” for this weekend’s game! We’ll tour the city, head to the Grand Ole Opry on Friday night for a country concert, and then hit up the Jack Daniel’s Tour on Saturday before having lunch at Jack’s Bar-B-Que or Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant. Traveling to an arena by yourself is a lot of fun, but traveling with 23 other people (including a fellow General, Kim) will make it that much better, and it will also improve the atmosphere at the game… at least from a Devils fan standpoint!
On a side note, with the Thrashers having moved to Winnipeg this season, and the Penguins having moving into the new Consol Energy Center last year, I do plan on eventually getting to those arenas as well. However, being that the goal was 30 in 30, and I already saw the Thrashers in Atlanta, and the Penguins at the “Igloo”, those will have to go to the end of my list. Perhaps it will eventually be 32 in 32? Stay tuned for that one… until then, Nashville here we come!
You can follow me on twitter as I tweet my way to and through Nashville.
LET’S GO DEVILS!!
John Dillman (@JohnnyPucks) is all for the Canucks winning this series over the Predators. He doesn’t have any official Vancouver gear, but the blue will do while he roots them on. There may be a little resentment towards Luongo after last year’s Olympics, but that doesn’t get in the way. His admiration for Ryan Kesler – and Canadian beer – makes rooting for Vancouver pretty easy.
For game 5, John headed over to the Canada Cabin at the Windfall in New York City with tons of other Canucks fans drinking their Molsons and Alexander Keiths during a Hockey This Week pre-game radio show. Unfortunately, the Preds took the game with a 4-3 win extending the series to game 6.
Other Canucks fans were a little surprised to see him with his NJ Devils hat, so he had to explain that he’s all for Vancouver, as long as the Devils are out. As John said, “Any excuse to have a Molson is a good one!”
Let us know who you’re rooting for and send us some pictures! We’d love to feature more Devils fans rocking their red, and other team of choice, during the playoffs!
Email us your pictures and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In case you weren’t paying attention – I’m sure you all were – here’s a super quick recap of Round 1.
Caps knocked out the Rangers in 5, awesome!
Tampa eliminated the Pens in 7, great!
The Flyers are still in it over Buffalo in 7, no!
Boston beat the Canadians in 7, nice! (We don’t really have a rivalry with these teams, but after a particular Habs game this season, I had no choice but to root against them!)
As for the teams we don’t have an immediate interest in: Detroit swept the Coyotes, the Preds beat the Ducks in 6, Canucks eliminated last years champ the Blackhawks in 7, and San Jose beat the Kings in 6.
The teams we root against are obvious but everyone has a different stand on who to root for. I’ll be rooting against the Flyers (duh!) and for the Canucks and Caps. I’m torn on the Detroit/San Jose series but I’m leaning towards San Jose. To be honest, I just really like their jerseys and since I have no vested interest in either team, I think that’s a decent reason to base my decision on.
Not only do we want to know who you’re rooting for, we want to see it! Send us pictures (email@example.com) of you supporting your Round 2 teams and we’ll post them here. Let us know where you stand!
(Pst, pick 4 teams!)