So, I’m new here. As stated in my bio, I just recently moved to Nashville. The Penguins were just coming off their hangovers from winning the Cup and it just so happened, I was standing in the back of a 26-foot moving truck at the end of June in Texas when my phone started going crazy.
I went inside and washed up a little bit. The sweat from 117 degrees on the back of a truck was just vile. When I finally picked up my phone, David Poile gave me a very exciting “Welcome to Nashville” present. Instantly, I shared a moving date with P.K. Subban as he was heading to Nashville too.
I still remember my first tweet like I sent it 5 minutes ago:
“My hometown team has a number one defenseman. I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about this. I’m confused.”
Now, bear in mind, I was coming from Dallas on a season where the Stars finished first in the West and had the top offensive team in the league. But the Stars haven’t had a true number one defenseman since Sergei Zubov and had to claw for every inch to get past Minnesota only to lose to the St. Louis Blues in the 2nd round. After winning a Stanley Cup in 1999 and losing to the New Jersey Devils in 2000, the team was getting older, but playoff hockey just felt…like a right. Having just made the playoffs twice since 2007-2008, it wasn’t a right…it didn’t even feel right.
Which brings me to my new home, with a team that, even living in Dallas, I always enjoyed routing for. In the same time span above, the Predators have only missed the playoffs three times, and are on the verge this year of doing something “miraculous.”
Every media member (not associated with local Nashville ties) never gave Nashville a chance. In fact, I bet if you asked each of the “experts” who picked Chicago in 7, only did so because it’s the “NHL playoffs,” and “you never know what can happen.”
But, despite waking up today with an opportunity to…s…swe…”clean (an area) by brushing away dirt or litter” the Blackhawks, Preds fans should have a smile on their faces until next September when training camp opens. The 2016-2017 Nashville Predators HAVE done something amazing. When current sports dynasties are mentioned, you talk about the New England Patriots and the Chicago Blackhawks. Heck, the YANKEES aren’t even considered a dynasty anymore. Let THAT sink in. The Nashville Predators lead the Chicago Blackhawks three game to none.
The Predators have never played in the Conference Finals. The Stars have played in four of them and the atmosphere is like no other. But even if the Predators don’t win it all this year, I hope all of you reading this realize just how special this team is…and how young they are. We’ve all heard the advice older players give the kids: Enjoy this time because you never know when you’ll make it back. I found myself using the clichés and “Crash Davis Rules to Providing Lifeless Quotes” yesterday around the office, and reading the quotes from the players between the end of Monday’s thrilling game 3 overtime victory to today, this team lives by that concept as well.
One of the concepts I found myself preaching yesterday was what Ryan Johansen told Penalty Box Radio after Monday’s victory, “We’ve got to realize that the job’s not done yet, and obviously we’re happy with the result, and we’re in a great position, but those guys aren’t just going to lay over and die.” Do I think the Blackhawks are going to “roll over and die?” Not unless the Preds can jump onto an early lead and dictate play the way they have for well over 90% of the series. The look on Patrick Kane’s face I think told the story of how the Blackhawks are feeling behind closed doors today when he talked after Chicago’s practice.
They. Have. No. Answer.
But that doesn’t mean we should freak out if they win today or even Saturday to make the series 3-2. Bottom line is this; Nashville has taken the most successful hockey team in the last decade to the brink, and not just because of some lucky bounces that have to come your way this time of year. This is a special time and we are in for an absolutely incredible ride…for however long it may last and where ever it might end up. So, put the razors away…put the laundry on hold for those special socks that you have and just soak it in. Who knows when something this amazing will happen again. Besides, it may get even better in two months.