The Nashville Predators have made it to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and they have some famous fans backing them, reports the Associated Press. Vince Gill can be found by the rink, taunting opposing players. Hockey fan Dierks Bentley attends games regularly and plans to be at second round games against the Phoenix Coyotes in both Phoenix and Nashville.
Martina McBride and Wynonna Judd join the house band during intermissions and Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman were spotted wearing the free t-shirts given out to fans as they cheered the Preds on to their series-ending victory over Detroit last week. Reba can often be found watching the game and Carrie Underwood may be the biggest fan of all – she’s married to Preds center Mike Fisher.
In Nashville, they call this ‘hockeytonking.’ “We’ve got a really good thing going,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “Anyone who’s come and seen us play in Nashville in the playoffs, or even during the regular season for that matter, get blown away by what Nashville has to offer, what pro sports have to offer and what the Predators have to offer.”
Mike Fisher agrees. “Guys love coming to Nashville,” he said. “It’s something different. There’s no other city like it as far as music, the Honky Tonks, and we stay right downtown and the weather’s usually great, a lot of people. Guys usually circle the Nashville trip on the schedule when they come to town, and the atmosphere just keeps getting better and better, and it’s fun.”
Mike’s biggest fan, wife Carrie Underwood, will likely miss most of the Predators second round action. Her new album, Blown Away, hits stores May 1 and she’s busy with promotional obligations. “She doesn’t like it when she misses it, but now obviously it’s crunch time for her,” Mike said. “It’s kind of her playoffs now with the album release. She’s excited about that and has a lot of work to do.”
But Carrie will be rink-side cheering her husband and his teammates on, should they make it to the Stanley Cup Finals. “I would start canceling stuff,” she said. “I’m not going to lie. I do not cancel things ever. We are always good about making plans, keeping plans and I don’t mind working so, but I would cancel things for the Stanley Cup.”
With Carrie unable to make the next round of games, Mike set his sites on Dierks Bentley. Since Dierks is a native of Arizona, Mike sent him a text message on Wednesday inquiring as to who the singer would be cheering for, as Nashville prepares to take on the Coyotes. Dierks played coy on his answer.
“I’m being pulled pretty hard here,” he said. “I love both of these teams. I never really expected them to be playing each other in the playoffs. It’s great for hockey when you have two teams like this, not part of the Original Six, the newer teams trying to build up their fan bases. To have both in the playoffs, it’s exciting.”
The Nashville Predators and Arizona Coyotes will face off in game one tonight in Phoenix.