In November, the Air Canada Centre crowd helped finish the Star-Spangled Banner after Toronto’s anthem singer has technical difficulties. So fans at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena paid back the same respect, taking over and belting out an entire verse of ‘O Canada’ before the game.
Over the past 16 years, Nashville has turned itself into a legitimate hockey town. On Tuesday night, they were part of a scene that distinctly screamed, “hockey fans.”
During the typical pre-game rituals, Predators anthem singer Brett Kissell asked the fans to join him in the singing of the Canadian national anthem. Not only did the fans join in, they took over and carried an entire verse of ‘O Canada,’ something you don’t often see south of the 45th parallel.
As Jim Diamond of Rinkside Report notes, the Predators joining in on the Canadian anthem comes a few months after the Maple Leafs faithful at the Air Canada Centre helped finish ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ after Toronto’s anthem singer was hit with microphone problems that left her silent. In a way, this was Nashville paying back the Toronto fans.
“That was neat,” Predators captain Shea Weber told Diamond post-game. “Like they pointed out, the Toronto fans did a great job there of finishing the American one. That’s pretty cool. I wasn’t sure if a lot of people know (the Canadian anthem). We don’t hear it a lot down here, so that was very impressive.”
The Predators would give the Bridgestone Arena a treat of their own, picking up a 4-3 victory over the Maple Leafs in the second and final meeting between the two teams this season.
(Thanks to Jim Diamond for pointing out this special moment.)