It's a good morning to be a Nashville Predators fan, that's for sure. While there is still work to be done in the weeks ahead, last night's win dispels a shadow which had been hanging over this franchise for the last few years, and serves to validate the long-term model driven by David Poile and Barry Trotz. We can feel confident that progress towards the ultimate goal is indeed being made, despite some obstacles along the way which threatened to jeopardize the very presence of the Preds here in Nashville.
Look at organizations like Florida, Columbus, and Atlanta, which have spent years trying to figure out a winning formula, or Phoenix, where a string of on-ice failures has surely played a role in that team possibly leaving town this summer. Heck, supposedly they're even losing money running a hockey team in Minnesota, after another regular-season flop.
While nothing is guaranteed, this spring could indeed prove to be a tipping point for the franchise. I've said for a long time that playoff success was the final piece in the puzzle to establish a strong financial foundation for the Predators, and while the community has already responded in a tremendous way to the work done by the new off-ice leadership, the best is yet to come if the Preds can keep the good times rolling. So give a listen to how Pete Weber wrapped up the game last night:
Then follow after the jump to savor some of the reaction...
Nashvile Predators News
Note: As you cruise around through the various Predators blogs this morning, please drop each of them a comment and let them know how much their work is appreciated. There a lot of long hours for little tangible reward that goes into this, and their role in helping to nourish and grow the Nashville Predators fan base can't be overstated.
Preds On The Glass: The Morning After: Predators Enter New Territory
Buddy's post-game report: "I think the fans and media were more focused on winning the first round but the players realize that there are 12 more wins to get to where they want to be."
The View from 111: Predators Down the Ducks 4-2, Take the Series 4-2
Mark celebrates the team-first spirit that led the Preds to victory: "They were able to win this series without a "star" but with a team concept that would not be daunted and refused to yield in the face of the talent and thuggery of the Ducks."
Preds make history, defeat Ducks to move onto second round… | Section 303
Jeremy, like all of us, is glad that we're done with Teemu Selanne, who was perhaps the most consistently dangerous player for Anaheim.
Paul McCann - King Kong has left the building...
Paul harkens back to 2007, and considers just how far we've all come since then.
Red Light District: Predators finally get over the hump
Ryan lays out how the Preds were able to succeed despite Pekka Rinne not really stealing any games for them.
Fang Finger Fever: Preds 4, Ducks 2: Worth the Wait
"So, for the first time, instead of sitting back and wondering what could have been, the Preds instead wonder what lies ahead..."
Preds Advance To Next Round! | Admirals Roundtable
Lots of guys who played for the Admirals this season made an impact in this series, and last night on the NHL Network, there were heaps of praise for the organization's developmental approach and strong relationship with Milwaukee.
Third line big again in Nashville Predators series-clinching win - Nashville Predators Examiner
Don Cherry would call them "the spear carriers", but fans around the NHL will probably hear a lot more from the Spaling-Smithson-Tootoo line.
Longest tenured Predator ends long playoff wait with empty-net goal - Nashville City Paper
Among other items, David Boclair notes that Pekka Rinne's assist is the first playoff point ever earned by a Nashville goalie.
Nashville Predators' Nick Spaling embraces opportunity - The Tennessean
When your checkers start chipping in goals, it's easy to get excited about how far this team can go.
O'Brien plays penalty-free - The Tennessean
It was a good night for SOB, who not only stayed out of the box, but played a key role on a 3rd-period PK.
Also, WKRN (these folks blow the local competition away when it comes to covering the Preds) had this report last night about the crowd's impact on the team's success:
Around the NHL
Predators boldly go where they’ve never gone before: Round 2 - Puck Daddy
Greg Wyshynski not only heaped praise on the Preds last night, but he started a conversation on Twitter this morning that recognizes long-standing Nashville fans who have waited a long, long time for a moment like this.
Predators Continue To Make History - KuklasKorner
Paul Kukla puts the boots to David Climer for going with the old "beat up a straw man" column.
Movin' On Up: Nashville Predators Advance To Second Round After 13 Years, Five Playoff Failures - SBNation.com
Mike Chen recaps the long playoff road which led to last night's triumph.
With Erat out, Dumont fills void for Preds - NHL.com
After spending weeks as a healthy scratch, J.P. Dumont added some nice punch on the 4th line with Blake Geoffrion and Steve Sullivan.