2011 NHL Playoffs: The Top Home Arenas
In the following slideshow we will break down which arena's and fans give their team the best home ice advantage in the playoffs.
Whether it be the Madhouse on Madison, Consol Energy Center, The Bell Centre or Rogers Arena, there are plenty of rowdy & raucous arena's in the NHL come playoff time and they can make all the difference in a tight game.
16. Jobing.com Arena (Phoenix Coyotes)
This is a pretty obvious one. The Coyotes fail to sell tickets night in and night out, and the crowd fails to get excited with the exception of all the Canadian retirees. The only time Jobing arena is loud is when an opposing team with a strong fan base comes to visit.
Verdict: no home ice advantage
15. St. Pete Times Forum
Tampa Bay is definitely not a hot spot for professional athletics. The Rays have been excellent the past 3 seasons and can't sell out Tropicana Field, and the same goes for the extremely competitive Tampa Bay Lightning this season. If this team was in a traditional hockey market, the crowd would be unbelievable. They have a stacked team and deserve a rowdy crowd, but it just fails to happen for them.
Verdict: No Home Ice Advantage
14. Bridgestone Arena (Nashville Predators)
Bridgestone Arena, home of the Nashville Predators is a prime example of a stadium where when the games matter, the crowds flock. It is loud only when it has to be. For example on a goal or when the jumbotron tells them to make noise. More often than not Bridgestone Arena's crowd is a non-factor.
13. Honda Center (Anaheim Ducks)
Like Nashville, the home of the Anaheim Ducks has playoff support however, they do sell out some regular season games and have more diehard fans as well as better knowledge of the game. The crowds do get excited but they do not compare to the top tier fans in the NHL.
Verdict: Home Ice Advantage -- sometimes.
12. Staples Center (Los Angeles Kings)
As of late, the Staples Center in Los Angeles has been better known for the Lakers, big shows, and the Grammy Awards. Despite this, over the past couple of years the Los Angeles Kings faithful have been returning to their seats to cheer on Drew Doughty and the rest of the squad. As you can see in the video above, Kings fans love themselves some playoff hockey. They get rowdy and loud, causing a scene LA hockey fans haven't seen in years:
Verdict: Home Ice Advantage
11. Joe Louis Arena (Detroit Red WIngs)
Whether it be the recession or the poor arena quality in Detroit compared to the rest of the league, something in hockey town has dropped off in the past few seasons. Tickets are available at game time nearly every night and the emotion just isn't there any more. Even the Stanley Cup Finals in 2008 saw some games with empty seats. It is a travesty that such a dynasty has to be this far down the list, but this years playoffs has plenty of rowdy arenas.
Verdict: Home Ice Advantage -- with lack of fans
10. HSBC Arena (Buffalo Sabres)
Buffalo Sabre fans are tried and tested and have stuck around through it all. They even came back after the whole Brett Hull foot in the crease fiasco. Sabres fans are loud and proud.
Verdict: Home Ice Advantage; Great Fans
9. HP Pavilion (San Jose Sharks)
The San Jose Sharks fan base surprises in many ways. Not only are they raucous and wild, but they are also knowledgeable and committed fans. The Shark Tank can be vicious and unforgiving at times.
Verdict: Home Ice Advantage -- Loud, Raucous
8. Verizon Center (Washington Capitals)
Since the Great Eight joined the Caps, the fans have been flocking to the games. The sea of red in the stands is intimidating at best. It is loud in the arena all the time, and just adds to the team's explosive offensive power.
Verdict: Home Ice Advantage
7. Consol Energy Center (Pittsburgh Penguins)
I know the video is from the old Melon Arena, but the fan base has not changed a bit, if anything it has grown with the extra seating in the new Consol Energy Center. Since the rejuvenation of the Pens during the Crosby era, the fans have once again returned to the team they loved in the years of Jagr and Lemieux. They cheer loud and proud 'Let's Go Penguins' and don't die down.
Verdict: Home Ice Advantage -- game changer
6. Madison Square Garden (New York Rangers)
Madison Square Garden can't help, but be high up on this list. MSG is a legendary arena that is renowned by every athlete imaginable. It will forever be an excellent arena for fans to visit and cheer on their team. Rangers fans can always be counted on to be crazy.
Verdict: Home Ice Advantage
5. TD Bank Boston Garden (Boston Bruins)
It doesn't take a genius to know how rowdy Bostonian's get with a little liquid confidence in them. This was a pretty easy one to put up high on the list. Needless to say the fans in Boston can get out of control at times.
Verdict: Home Ice Advantage - Rowdy Fans
4. Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia Flyers)
Couldn't leave the home of the Broadstreet Bullies out of the top five. The Flyers sea of Orange is blinding to opponents, when the fans at Wells Fargo Center cheer at the top of their lungs you can feel the ground shake. The Flyers faithful are also relentless in mockery of the opposition and have been said to get under players skin (see Tie Domi vs Fan on youtube).
Verdict: Home Ice Advantage -- Intimidating
3. Rogers Arena (Vancouver Canucks)
Every player who enters Rogers Arena in Vancouver knows that they are in for a wild ride. The Canucks faithful are extremely loud and have been known to reach the same decibel level as a jet engine. As proof by the loud singing of the anthem pre-game, Canucks fans are ready for any team coming into their building and won't hesitate to taunt the opponent. Players both visitors and away always say they love to come play in Vancouver because of the constant energy in the building.
Verdict: Home Ice Advantage -- Volume from start to finish
2. The Bell Centre (Montreal Canadiens)
It's pretty hard to put the Bell Centre on second spot in this list, but there's one place that's better. Everyone who has ever watched the Habs play know that the Bell Centre is hell for the opposition. Habs fans belt the anthem in French and English, and won't stand down from a fight. Canadiens faithful even sing songs in the crowd as though they were at a soccer match. The atmosphere is always electric.
Verdict: Home Ice Advantage -- Diehard Fans
1. United Center (Chicago Blackhawks)
The United Center in Chicago isn't called the "Madhouse on Madison" for nothing. They could very well have the most hated goal song by the Fratelli's in the entire league and their fans aren't afraid to sing along. 'Hawks fans are the type of fan that will stand on their feet to cheer on their team in the middle of the second period. The United Center is also the last remaining arena with a real organ player in the NHL. The deep tradition within the franchise accompanied by the beloved fans of the team make this the hardest place to play in the NHL.
Verdict: Home Ice Advantage -- Hardest Place to Play