“The building was crazy”: Canucks players blown away by playoff fan noise

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It had been nine years since Rogers Arena last hosted a Vancouver Canucks playoff game. It had been even longer since it was as loud as it was tonight.

The Canucks beat the Nashville Predators 4-2 in Game 1 on Sunday night. The crowd was into it all night long, but really erupted when Pius Suter tied the game 8:59 into the third period, before total bedlam when Dakota Joshua scored the game-winner 12 seconds later.

Playoff-starved fans were amped up for this one, with large crowds forming outside Rogers Arena, even before the doors opened at 6 pm.

The first ‘go Canucks go’ chant began in warmup.

“It was goosebumps for sure. Just being in the warmups, people standing up, and it kind of fired (us) up,” said Elias Lindholm, who scored the opening goal of the game for the Canucks.

Quinn Hughes described the atmosphere as “electric.”

“It was a pretty special moment, I know they’ve been waiting for this for a while,” said Tyler Myers, who played his first playoff game in Vancouver after signing with the Canucks five years ago. “As I’m stepping out on the ice, I got chills. It was everything we thought it would be and more.”

J.T. Miller has played in plenty of playoff games during his time with the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning. But this night hit different.

“When we came out on the ice today, it was probably one of the more special things I’ve been a part of, other than the birth of my children and my wedding,” said Miller, a father of three. “It’s hard not to get choked up when you see that. I mean, that literally is everything.

“That emotion and that noise, and the towels. If you can’t get up for that, then you got something wrong with you. That was amazing… I think I got a different perspective on what hockey means to the people here. It was awesome.”

Joshua, who added an empty netter, was the hero on this night.

“The building was crazy. You think you know what to expect until you get out there, and you don’t. The fans were behind us all night. It was nice to pull through for them,” he said.

“The building was rocking all night. It was nice that we could get the first win out of the way. We’re gonna need them on this ride. That means a lot to us, to know that they have our back through it all.”