Fan Experience

Smashville One Win Away from History

Photo by: Fredrick Breedon/Getty Images

“Previously on the Stanley Cup Playoffs…”

The Nashville Predators defeated the St. Louis Blues 2-1 in front of an enthralled and passionate sellout crowd Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators walked away with a 3-1 series lead in their Western Conference Semifinal series. Meanwhile, Bridgestone was teeming with Tennessee Titans, country music singers and passionate hockey fans!

Yes, at the seat of the Southern Baptist Church, Country Music Association and the recognized commercial home of Christian Contemporary and Gospel Music, hockey has taken over Music City, U.S.A.

If the Predators defeat the Blues tomorrow night, they will advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history.

A win Friday in St. Louis would clinch the Predators’ first trip to the Western Conference finals.

“It’s what we’ve built for all year and put our focus on all year,” said Predators forward James Neal, who scored the game winning goal in the third period. “We’re continuing to get better throughout the playoffs. Each game brings challenges. We’ve been up for them each night.”

In the first round, Nashville made shockwaves by sweeping the Chicago Blackhawks out of the playoffs in a swift, determined fashion. They slayed their Goliath. In so doing, the Predators added a few new members to their bandwagon! Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Pittsburgh Steelers draftee Joshua Dobbs, Detroit Lions draftee Jalen Reeves-Maybin (both, former Tennessee Vols football players), PGA golfer Brendt Snedeker and former NFL head coach Rex Ryan have been in attendance for Predators games.

“I’m loving it,” said  country singer Luke Bryan, who performed the national anthem during the first round of the playoffs. “We went (Sunday afternoon) and the boys had a dadgum blast. I’d take them (Tuesday) night if it wasn’t at 8:30, but that’s a little too late for them.”

Nashville has had a great team on paper that was very streaky. They would win 3 games and lose the next 2. Lose 4, win their following five games. I knew once this team got its wits about themselves, they would be capable of going on a run.

Each time strains of Tim McGraw’s “I like it, I love it” and “Gold on the Ceiling” by The Black Keys blare through my speakers, seemingly, it gets sweeter and sweeter. While we have dreams and visions of what could be, the players are keeping their focus on the present.

“We all know that it’s one win away, something that at least the guys who’ve been drafted by Nashville and groomed by Nashville, we’ve never been there,” said Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, who has a 1.33 goals-against average and .953 save percentage during the playoffs after making 32 saves Tuesday. “That’s something that would obviously be amazing and for this organization, too.

“Now we have a chance to really step on their throat, and we can control our destiny. You couldn’t ask for more.”

Personally, I’m here for the Carrie Underwood celebrations! If the Preds win tomorrow, we’ll see more of this! If the Predators continue to push on like this, 501 Broadway will become the epicenter of hockey!


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