NHL's 11 Most Unfriendly Arenas for Visiting Teams

Tom Urtz Jr.@@TomUrtzJrContributor ISeptember 30, 2012

NHL's 11 Most Unfriendly Arenas for Visiting Teams

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    When NHL teams go on the road, they are often greeted in an unfriendly way by the opposing team's fans. Some arenas are unfriendlier than others, because some buildings don't show much of a reaction at all.

    Some buildings like the Wells Fargo Center are infamous for their unruly fans, loud and obnoxious chants and other antics that make an arena a tough place to play in.

    Others like the Bell Centre have rich history and passionate fans who eat, sleep and breathe everything Montreal Canadiens, so it is natural to make the building uninviting for opponents.

    Here are the NHL's 11 most unfriendly arenas.

MTS Centre

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    The MTS Centre welcomed the return of the Winnipeg Jets in 2011-12. The Jets' building is one of the most unfriendly and most intimidating arenas in the NHL today.

    It features over 15,000 screaming fans who are die-hard hockey fans, and they are brutal towards the opposition on the ice, especially since they waited so long to get hockey back.

    This video shows the fans of Winnipeg in one of the NHL's  loudest building giving the business to Alex Ovechkin. There were many moments like this throughout the 2011-12 season.

HP Pavilion

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    The HP Pavilion is the loudest arena in the Western Conference, and it has a lot of aesthetic features that makes the building intimidating.

    The San Jose Sharks skate onto the ice through a giant Shark head accompanied to the theme of Jaws.

    The lighting, sounds and props help set the tone of the arena before the game starts, and this makes the building unfriendly and uninviting for opponents.

    When you factor in the passion and very audible fans, the HP Pavilion is a tough building to play in if you're not wearing a Sharks' jersey.

United Center

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    The Madhouse on Madison was on fire during the Chicago Blackhawks' Stanley Cup run back in 2009-10, and it is still one of the NHL's most intimidating and unfriendly arenas in the NHL.

    The United Center was at its best when it was all over Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks during the 2009-10 playoffs. To this day, Luongo probably has nightmares that are accompanied by Chelsea Dagger.

    The building has tons of boisterous fans, chants, musics and antics that really make it hard for visiting teams to play in. 

Wells Fargo Arena

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    The Philadelphia Flyers are infamously referred to as the Broad Street Bullies, and that is a reference to the team's rough and tough style of play.

    The fans of the Wells Fargo Arena are the same way in the stands towards opposing teams.

    Philadelphia Flyer fans are known as among the NHL's toughest, most passionate and obnoxious, and they are very vocal about their distaste towards visiting teams.

    If you asked most NHL teams what their least favorite opposing arena in the NHL is, most teams would likely name the Wells Fargo Arena.

Verizon Center

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    The Verizon Center is one of the loudest arenas in the NHL, and their state-of-the-art sound system pumps blasting music through the speakers and makes it hard for opposing teams to concentrate.

    Washington Capital fans are very passionate in their support of the team and they have a knack of getting very loud, and berating the opposition with a chorus of boos.

    When you add in the fans' ability to "Rock the Red," the die-hard horn guy blasting his vuvuzela and an intense fan atmosphere, the Verizon Center is one of the league's most unfriendly arenas.

Madison Square Garden

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    Anytime you enter the World's Most Famous Arena as a visitor, it is a bit of an intimidating feeling. Madison Square Garden has so much history attached to it that it is easy for opposing players to get caught up in the ambiance of the arena.

    The New York Rangers' fanbase is also one of the loudest in all sports as there is always a chant going around the building.

    Fans are always trying to get under the opposition's skin, and then there are moments like the video above.

    No matter how you slice it, entering MSG as a visitor is never inviting for the opposition.

Pepsi Center

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    The Pepsi Center is one of the NHL's newer and unfriendliest arenas for opposing players for a plethora of reasons.

    The building is located in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, and the altitude makes it harder for opponents to breathe. This naturally gives the home team an obvious advantage.

    The Colorado Avalanche are used to the conditions, so they are immune to the effects of thinner air. In addition to the thin air, the fans are very passionate, and they are never afraid to get on the case of a star for the opposition. 

    The Avs are a team on the rise, and very soon the Pepsi Center will be rocking like it did when Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg took the ice.

Scottiabank Saddledome

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    The Calgary Flames's home arena is the Scottiabank Saddledome, and it is one of the NHL's toughest arenas to play in. 

    The Saddledome is located in the hockey hotbed of Alberta, and the passionate fans are very vocal at all times in their support of the Flames.

    Throughout the regular season, the Saddledome is always on fire with passion and actual fire.

    Not only is the atmosphere full of ferocity, but the Flames even skate onto the ice accompanied by fire blasting from the roof. That is something that really helps set the tone before the puck is even dropped.

    Although the team is not that successful today, their arena is still very intimidating for opposing teams to play in, and the Flames still benefit from the home-ice advantage the Saddledome provides them.

Joe Louis Arena

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    Joe Louis Arena is arguably one of the unfriendliest arenas for a visitor to walk into. This is evident by the distinct home-ice advantage the Detroit Red Wings receive from their amazing fanbase.

    Fans have no qualms about hurling insults towards the opposition, and there are other antics the fans engage in throughout the game.

    The Red Wings have had an amazing team over the past two decades, and the building has so much history and tradition that includes fans throwing octopuses on the ice during the playoffs.

    The fans also were loud throughout the entire game. That can make it hard for the opposition to really concentrate, and this is something the Red Wings fed off during the 2011-12 season.

    When you consider that the Red Wings went 31-7-3 at "the Joe," including 23 straight wins, it is easy to see why JLA is one of the unfriendliest and toughest arenas to play in on the road.

TD Garden

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    The Boston Bruins rode the wave of support from the TD Garden faithful during their 2010-11 Stanley Cup season.

    The building is one of the oldest in the league, and there is history associated to it as the home of an Original Six team. The Bruins were pretty dominant at the TD Garden in 2011-12, and they posted a record of 24-14-3.

    Everything about the arena gives the Bruins an advantage, including their supportive fans, their loud goal horn and chants directed at the opposition.

    Whenever you step into the arena of an dominant Original Six franchise, it is an up-hill battle, even before the puck is dropped.

Bell Centre

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    The Bell Centre is home to some of the NHL's most passionate fans, and they are also some of the most brutal. The building is very loud and full of hardcore hockey fans who eat, sleep and breathe everything Montreal Canadiens.

    When a visiting team enters the building, they are accompanied with a barrage of boos and jeers. If you need any evidence of how unfriendly this building is, just take a look on YouTube for clips of Zdeno Chara whenever he steps onto the ice.

    The Bell Centre is a mecca of hockey in Canada and a very intimidating and unfriendly building for opposing players and fans.