While fans of the Washington Capitals try to kill time with no Capitals hockey until September, many are prepping for the 2019-20 NHL schedule to come out in June and thinking about possible road trips for next season. With many wondering where that place to go might be, NoVa Caps’ lists the top-five NHL road trip destinations right now.
The top-five are based on arena atmosphere, hockey history, overall fan experience (both at the arena and in the city), and uniqueness of the venue. Here is a summary of what most fans thought on Facebook and Twitter:
What is your favorite destination to see a Capitals road game, or where are you most wanting to see a game in the future?
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) May 11, 2019
1. T-Mobile Arena – Las Vegas, Nevada
T-Mobile is hallowed ground for Capitals fans after the team claimed its first Stanley Cup Championship in Las Vegas last June. Despite losing in the Cup Final, the Vegas Golden Knights own back-to-back Stanley Cup Playoffs appearances in their first two seasons. Vegas fans have a lot to cheer about, and T-Mobile is known for its electric atmosphere, loud music, and being one of the loudest buildings in the league. Vegas is a draw for any hockey fan, but Capitals fans will always have special memories about the arena.
2. Bell Center – Montreal, Quebec
With a league-high 24 Stanley Cups in Montreal, Bell Centre is one of the biggest buzzing arenas in the league. Even when the Canadiens are not doing well, there always seems to be a big crowd for their games as Montreal is known as the hockey capital of the world. With a number of greats such as Jean Beliveau, Maurice “Rocket” Richard, and Patrick Roy, Montreal has a lot of hockey history. Montreal has one of, if not the best atmosphere in the NHL, especially on Saturday nights.
3. Madison Square Garden – New York, New York
Madison Square Garden has earned the title of “the world’s most famous arena.” They recently completed a $1 billion renovation in 2013 that saw the arena add two bridges at the top for viewing, a large scoreboard, larger concourses, and more. With a lot of entertainment options and an ebullient crowd for hockey, seeing a New York Rangers game in the “city that never sleeps” should be on every hockey fan’s bucket list. Fortunately for Capitals fans, the team is guaranteed to play at MSG at least twice per season.
4. Scotiabank Arena – Toronto, Ontario
Like Bell Centre, Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena is home to a lot of hockey history as the host city of the Hockey Hall of Fame and has 19 retired jerseys in the rafters. The arena has no shortage of energy with 13 Stanley Cups to the franchise’s name, especially on Saturday nights. While the Maple Leafs are suffering through a long Cup drought, the future is bright and the Leafs’ Stanley Cup window looks to be open for the next several years. Because of that Scotiabank Arena has a lot to cheer about. It should be on every hockey fan’s radar for a road-trip for the foreseeable future.
5. Bridgestone Arena – Nashville Tennessee
Nashville has one of the wildest and most deafening crows in the NHL, especially during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Nashville Predators’ run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017 showed a passionate fan base and many entertainment options (especially music). Their Stanley Cup Playoff tradition of throwing catfish on the ice before every game and their live music during intermissions throughout the season definitely makes Nashville a unique NHL venue. With Bridgestone Arena located right on Nashville’s famous Broadway, there are plenty of restaurants, bars, and live music to see before and after the game, making for one heck of an experience.
By Harrison Brown