With the playoffs set to begin this weekend, a pair of NHL teams are looking for every advantage they can get with the Stanley Cup on the line.
Without fans in attendance, there won’t be much of a home ice advantage for any of the 24 participating NHL teams for the games in Toronto and Edmonton. But that hasn’t stopped the Philadelphia Flyers and Nashville Predators from trying to gain an edge.
The Flyers’ terrifying mascot Gritty now looks over Toronto, as at least two billboards have been spotted in the Eastern Conference hub city this week.
Hockey is back.
People still think I'm creepy.
I haven't blinked in 2 years.
Life is good. pic.twitter.com/4CrrcR7QPH
— Gritty (@GrittyNHL) July 28, 2020
The Flyers buying a billboard with the world's best mascot Gritty on it here in Toronto is the most exciting hockey news this year. pic.twitter.com/gCGAjh9I1p
— Brock McLaughlin (@brockmclaughlin) July 29, 2020
As if an image of Gritty wasn’t creepy enough, the billboard includes a cryptic message:
“Every shot you take. Every save you make. I’ll be watching you.”
Good luck sleeping tonight.
Over in the Western Conference hub in Edmonton, the Nashville Predators also appear to have a billboard budget as well.
“Win for Smashville,” was the billboard seen in the Alberta capital. Not as intimidating, but a statement made nonetheless.
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) July 28, 2020
This isn’t the first time teams have tried to gain an advantage through the billboard medium. The Saskatchewan Roughriders have pulled the stunt on many of their rivals, setting them up before game days on the road.
Back in January, Calgary Flames fans raised enough money to put Matthew Tkachuk’s face on a billboard in Edmonton to troll Oilers fans.