10 CURRENT TOUGHEST PLACES TO PLAY IN THE NHL

10. Air Canada Centre (Toronto Maple Leafs)

The Maple Leafs are NHL royalty, but the past few years haven’t been too kind to them. Nonetheless, the Air Canada Centre is still a destination for players and fans alike. Despite not being either really old or really new, the building oozes history. When the Leafs are good, the place is rocking.

9. Consol Energy Center (Pittsburgh Penguins)

While it’s definitely not Mellon Arena, Consol Energy Center is a loud and raucous road environment. When the Pens are winning or on a power play, you can barely hear yourself think. This is a tough road test for any Eastern Conference foe.

8. Scotiabank Saddledome (Calgary Flames)

The Saddledome is one of the most unique arenas in the NHL. Its bizarre shape and architecture allows for a sound to be trapped. During the playoffs, this place is deafening. Unfortunately, the Flames have had some pretty lean years recently.

7. Verizon Center (Washington Capitals)

Ever since Alexander Ovechkin was drafted by the Caps, D.C. has been a major hockey town. Now, the Caps home environment is absolutely electric. During playoff runs, visiting teams can barely function and the crowd goes nuts with every Caps goal.

6. Joe Louis Arena (Detroit Red Wings)

The Joe is one of the most historic arenas in any sport and the traditions (octopi included) are what make the NHL great. Ultimately though, Joe Louis Arena is a symbol of excellence for one of hockey’s greatest franchises. In addition, the arena is incredibly intimate, making for a fantastic home-ice advantage.

5. Madison Square Garden (New York Rangers)

From one of hockey’s hallowed grounds to the most famous arena in the world, MSG has no peer in terms of historical significance. Ranger fans can be a brutal bunch, on both their own team and the visiting squad. Win or lose, this is a tough environment.

4. Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia Flyers)

No fans are more ruthless than those in “The City of Brotherly Love.” Nothing about the Wells Fargo Center screams unique, unless you consider the blood-thirsty patrons. When the Flyers play a rival, this place is a house of horrors.

3. SAP Center (San Jose Sharks)

Who says the NHL can’t play on the west coast? The Shark Tank is one of the most ravenous road environments in the league. The fans are vicious and the team is really good right now. So, there isn’t a more difficult road trip in the Western Conference…

2. United Center (Chicago Blackhawks)

…except in Chicago at the United Center. Seriously, is there a more annoying goal song in all the NHL? What makes it exponentially worse, is that the faithful chant along like a cult. With the recent success of the team, wins at the UC have become increasingly rare.

1. Bell Centre (Montreal Canadiens)

The Habs have some of the most passionate and ruthless fans in the league. Just one trip to a Bruins-Habs game, and you’ll figure this out pretty quickly. In their defense, the Canadiens are the most storied franchise in the league. But still, these fans are absolutely brutal. 

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