What having no fans at postseason games is like for Blackhawks' Drake Caggiula


Watching at home, the NHL's 24-team postseason hasn't disappointed at all. The games are a fast-paced, intense display of high-end talent like in any postseason and we're still just in the qualifying round.

The league putting tarps over the seats and even adding canned crowd noise helps you forget live fans have been taken out of the equation.

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For the players on the ice, sometimes the absence of the game's fans is hard to ignore.

Blackhawks forward Drake Caggiula has experienced the fanless games as both a player and spectator. He played in Game 1 and 3 of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers against the Oilers, but missed Game 2 after being suspended for an illegal check to the head of Edmonton forward Tyler Ennis.

Related: What being teammates with Connor McDavid was like for Blackhawks' Drake Caggiula

"It's definitely different watching or even playing without fans," Caggiula said earlier in the week. "You see a mad scramble in front of the net and it's pretty quiet out there and typically that's when fans are oohing and ahhing and cheering and chaos ensues and sometimes you can build off the momentum. 

"Maybe you're down a goal or two and you score a goal and the crowd gets into it and you can kind of feed off that energy and obviously that's not there, you got to create your own energy, you got to find that within your own locker room. Sometimes that can be difficult, especially if the game gets a little bit out of reach. You have to find ways to keep yourself involved and keep your energy up and find that from within and not be looking for the others (to)."


The Blackhawks lead the series against the Oilers 2-1 with Game 4 scheduled for Friday at 5:45 p.m. CT.