There were two off-ice villains during Thursday night’s games. In Dallas, the in-house DJ played Nickelback for an entire period, much to the displeasure of Stars fans, while Pittsburgh watched a fan steal a puck from a young boy who had been tossed the souvenir by Dan Bylsma.
Because it’s the day before Halloween, October 30 goes by a few names. Some call it Mischief Night, others say Devil’s Night and there are those who refer to the eve of Halloween as Gate Night. It’s a day known for playful troublemaking as part of the spirit of Halloween.
However, there are those who tend to jump the gun, and Thursday there were two offenders up to some shenanigans to kick off Mischief Night a bit early. In Dallas, the Stars’ production crew came up with an evil plot to hurt the ears of fans arena-wide, while one fan in Pittsburgh snatched a souvenir away from the hands of a young man.
VILLAIN NO. 1: STARS AUDIO GUY
Fans in Dallas were treated to a Stars comeback victory Thursday, as the home side came back from a 3-1 deficit to pick up a 4-3 overtime win over the visiting Vancouver Canucks. But things weren’t going as well for fans during the second period.
Pat Iversen of SB Nation pointed out that during the second frame of Thursday’s game, the Stars in-arena DJ decided to play Nickelback songs. Not once or twice, mind you, but during every single stoppage. The Stars certainly got their fill of angry messages.
— Riley Waters (@Roo_dude43) October 30, 2015
can they stop playing nickelback niemi doesnt deserve this
— professional sports (@savedbyniemi) October 30, 2015
The gag by Stars audio guy Michael Gruber is a great one, but it got even better when the Stars began to incorporate scoreboard graphics along with Gruber’s song choices. For instance, the Stars had a poll question for fans to answer:
THE RESULTS ARE IN! pic.twitter.com/TtJiCKUnWm
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) October 30, 2015
We’re not sure how 190 percent of those in attendance wanted to stop hearing Nickelback, but somehow the poll seems correct.
VILLAIN NO. 2: PUCK-STEALING FAN
Our second villain comes from Pittsburgh, where Dan Bylsma was making his return to play the Penguins for the first time as an opposition coach. A puck had found its way into the bench during the game and Bylsma made the kind-hearted move to pick out a young boy from the crowd and toss the puck over the glass to him. Not so fast, though, as another fan reached out and made the grab:
Oof. Not a good play by the fan in white. It’s not quite Steve Bartman levels of interference, but to that young kid it must have been crushing. Fans were not pleased with the puck-grabbing fan, reported CBS Sports’ Adam Gretz. It all worked out in the end, however, as the Penguins stepped up for the youngster:
What say you? Who is the bigger villain: the Nickelback-heavy Stars audio guy or the puck-stealing fan?