The Nashville Predators , rebounding from an 0-2 series hole in the Stanley Cup Final to rout the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins in two straight games and put themselves within two wins of the franchise's first championship.
And a few media members in the Steel City aren't too happy about any of it.
Jeff Verszyla, "Pittsburgh's chief meteorologist" and the host of a Pittsburgh Steelers kids show on KDKA-TV, kicked things off in advance of the Predators' 4-1 blowout of the Pens in Monday's Game 4, tweeting that he was "really getting tired of hearing about Nashville's fans" and that "one Stanley Cup Playoffs does not make a Hockey Town."
I'm really getting tired of hearing about Nashville's fans...supporting a team in one Stanley Cup Playoffs does not make a Hockey Town— Jeff Verszyla (@Verz) June 6, 2017
Dan Kingerski, who talks Pens on 93.7 The Fan and the PGH Hockey Now website, then took things to another level on Wednesday, burying in a piece on Matt Murray a suggestion that Nashville is pumping artificial crowd noise into Bridgestone Arena.
Presented without any edits, Kingerski's claims:
I'm convinced the Bridgestone Arena is using the PA to amp crowd noise. Facts–the arena plays warm-up and in-game music at 110-112dbs, as measured by my own device. At the height of the crowd mania in Game 4, I believe my radio trained ears heard the pops and cracks of over-modulation. Lastly, the sound levels are never shown in the arena, unlike every other arena in which I've covered games.
Why would the "record holder" not show the sound level? The loudest the sound meter (on my iPhone) hit was about 114dbs. 114 is a great number and the crowd is engaged for a full 60 minutes. People don't leave 10 minutes early to hit the bars or beat traffic.
However, I believe I call "bunk" on the 130dbs claim, at least achieved organically. However, the Predators are welcome to prove it.
You can trust Kingerski's "radio trained ears," you can refer to measurements from The Tennessean that paint a quieter picture of the Arena's still-roaring crowd or you can presume someone else in Pittsburgh isn't too pleased that the Steel City is being outdone both on the ice and in the seats, where small-market loyalty has exploded onto the national spotlight in Nashville.
Assuredly, not everyone in Pittsburgh is rushing to write off Bridgestone Arena's extraordinarily riotous hockey atmosphere as the product of some Atlanta Falcons-esque noise-level scheme. And no one should be writing off the Preds' underdog run to a potential Stanley Cup win, period.
But if these jabs from the wee corners of the Pittsburgh media through four games of this championship bout are any indication, we could be in for quite an offseason depending on how the series unfolds. Especially if it ends in Nashville, where more than one person figures to be tracking decibels.