May 7, 2010

2010 NHL Playoff Pre-Game Arena Opens - Eastern Conference

NHL teams ramp it up for the post-season both on and off the ice. The pre-game show in particular gets a lot of extra attention, with teams using extra lighting and special effects to whip their fans into a frenzy before the players hit the ice. Here's a round-up of pre-game arena opens from the Eastern Conference. (Tomorrow: the Western Conference.)
  1. Washington
    You can't really see it from the team video, but the arena is full of red -- jerseys, lights, signage -- to tie in to the "Rock The Red" theme. The main song is “Rock the Red,” written and performed by Sandbox Kings, an indie rock group from Arlington, Virginia (more on that song here), mixed with Chevelle's "The Red".

  2. New Jersey
    A multimedia show making full use of Prudential Center's multiple LED screens. The main opening video uses a George C. Patton quote to rev up the troops, then transitions to "30 seconds to Mars"by Vox Populi. Then the main highlights kick in to Powerman 5000's "Show Me What You Got".

  3. Buffalo
    Buffalo's show started with this triumphant look back at some great playoff moments from the past. Then the lights went down, the spotlights lit up giant NHL playoff banners above the scoreboard, and Sabretooth made his traditional drop from the rafters to the tune of "Welcome to the Jungle". Then it's onto the main highlight video to music from Two Steps From Hell.

  4. Pittsburgh
    The lights go off and "it's a hockey night in Pittsburgh" (a great quote from Pittsburgh play-by-play announcer Matt Lange). The opening video introduces each of the Penguins players. Can't tell what the music is -- anybody know? Great use of video, projection, and extra lighting effects to make the old Igloo come alive.

  5. Ottawa
    The first song you'll hear in the video is Metallica's "Of Wolf And Man", the second song is "The Good Life" by Three Days Grace. The main highlight video features "Hysteria" by Muse, then we had a cool "turning the city red" effect that combined video, LED boards, and a lighting effect. As Sens players took to the ice fans waved towels and screamed their hearts out. Here's a great video of the towels waving from a fan's perspective. (And another one here.)

  6. Boston
    Here's a fan video of the opening video scoreboard show. It starts with a look back at some of the great players in Bruins history, then mixes in current players and highlights. The Bruins show a great quote from a newspaper columnist -- "The TD Garden is a Cauldron of Noise" -- which gets the crowd going and leads to a great montage of Bruins fans hamming it up for the camera. Then a giant Bruins flag gets passed around the crowd to the tune of "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns n Roses. Then if that's not enough for you -- some cool shots of an angry bear pop up on the screen, followed by a highlight video set to Nickelback's "Burn It To The Ground". Watch it here.

  7. Philadelphia
    Philly's show opens with a quote: "Philly Fans Have More Heart Than Any Other Teams Fans". Then it's on to a highlight montage that uses the heaviest song of the playoffs, "More Human Than Human" by Rob Zombie. Here's a shaky fan video of the open. I like the Flyers headshot graphics at the end of the video.

  8. Montreal
    I really like the simplicity and symbolism in the opening segment of Montreal's show.
    The Habs pre-game starts with a kid skating around the ice, holding a flaming torch high above his head. Each game the kid wears a jersey from a different iconic Montreal alumnus, like Richard, Beliveau, Lafleur, Roy. When he reaches centre ice the torch ingnites a rink full of flame through a video projection effect. Then it's on to the highlights and player intros, to the music of Puff Daddy's "Come With Me", sampling heavily from Led Zepplin's Kashmir. The players eventually skate on with a loop of Coldplay's "Fix Me" in the background.

(Check out the 2009 list of Eastern Conference playoff opens.)

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