- San Jose
The highlight of the San Jose pre-game show is always that giant shark head descending from the rafters down to ice level. Not sure if it's new this year or not but in the 2010 playoffs they use video projection on ice of shark-infested waters. Here's a shaky fan video... and here's another close-up of the video screen. The videos' a mix of highlights and players talking about the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Can't quite make out the music - can anybody help?
Here's Chicago's opening sequence in three parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
Part 1 is based around a dramatic recap of great moments in Blackhawks playoff history, and shows some of the great players in franchise history.
Part 2 introduces current players "skating" through downtown Chicago, ending with this year's playoff slogan, "ONE GOAL".
Part 3 is all about highights - big goals, big hits, big saves - to the tune of "Testify" by Rage Against The Machine. At the end of the highlights the players skate out, accompanied by United Centre's very loud goal horn.
A highlight in Chicago has to be the National Anthem, performed by Jim Cornelison (singer) & Frank Pellico (organist). Check out this fan vid - you can't even hear the organ or the singer with all the crowd noise in there.
The Canucks update on last year's playoff open with a very well-produced piece that they call simply "The Open". Over dramatic music, we see a mixture of player photos, hockey cards and hockey equipment along with some compelling text:
"Every game played outside / Until the age of thirteen / Black dented scars / On a once blue garage door / A homemade metal net / To shoot at hour after hour / An indoor rink / Built for daily scrimmages / Shovelling the rink every day / For 2 on 2 full contact / A thousand black marks from his brothers shots / on the basement wall / Every one of them / Dreaming of one thing..."Then an image of the Stanley Cup, and lots of great highlights from the Canucks season. Watch it here.
The opening video for the Coyotes starts with some storytelling, starting with headlines of "chaos" surrounding the team during training camp (due to the ownership situation), and the surprising succes of Phoenix during the regular season. Some nice song choices here, including "Ali in the Jungle" by The Hours, including lyrics like "Everybody gets knocked down / How quick are you gonna' get up?" and "And it's, not, about the things you've done, it's what you're doing, now / What are you doing, now?". The main highlight song is "Warrior's Call" by Volbeat.
Music: Thousand Foot Krutch - "The Invitation" and "Welcome to the Masquerade"
The Red Wings project fan shots ("I am Hockeytown") and highlights onto huge white scrims that are hung around the video scoreboard, stretching what must be close to 75 feet high. After the video the curtain is dropped to reveal the giant octopus, of course.
The scrim effect was most recently used in Pittsburgh for their opening night Stanley Cup ceremony this year.
- Los Angeles
Couldn't find a good video of their open - here's the best I can find on YouTube. Mostly a mix of video scoreboard, video projection and LED signage effects.
You can see from this video that the players walk out of their dressing room through a castle archway, then hit the ice. (Would have been cooler with a drawbridge and dragons.) The Kings organization had a massive lighting rig in for the playoffs, with 32 Vari-Lite 3500 Wash fixtures. Impressive. The last half of this vid gives a good idea of what all those extra lights can do.
The Predators played the Detroit Redwings in their first round series, so their video focuses on the great rivalry between the division rivals. A well-edited mix of video and still photos. And I have to mention the giant predator head thing that the players skate through onto the ice is pretty cool. Almost as cool as San Jose's shark head. Almost.
The first part of Colorado's intro video reminds me a bit of the Phoenix approach, using headlines big events from the season to tell the story of Colorado's great run in the regular season and success in the playoffs. Music is "Let's See How Far We've Come" by Matchbox Twenty. Here's a YouTube video showing the rest of the pre-game show. (Recognize that Vox Populi song from yesterday's post re: New Jersey?) Also check out this video showing the atmosphere in the arena when the Avalanche skates on.
(Check out the 2009 list of Western Conference playoff opens.)