Earlier this summer we reviewed the Top 10 Moments of the Regular Season, and now seems a fine time to look back at the team's playoff run...
If there was one thing that the Nashville Predators lacked in previous playoffs, it was that mysterious, intangible quality we call "swagger". Without a history of postseason success, the Preds typically lacked that outspoken confidence (cockiness, even) that can not only rally teammates, but rattle opponents.
Right from the start of the 2011 playoffs, however, we could tell that there was something a little different with this edition of the Predators. Shane O`Brien brought a fresh attitude to the locker room all season (the local media even made up a new award to celebrate his candor), and as the oldest active member of the defense during the playoffs, he took it on himself to demonstrate some leadership on the ice, too.
The greatest example there came late in Game 1 vs. Anaheim, with the Preds leading 4-1 and the Ducks looking to send a bit of a message. With under a minute to go, Anaheim was intent on stirring up some trouble, with both George Parros and Jarkko Ruutu out there on the wings. After Parros fired a shot on net, those two along with Todd Marchant crashed the net even though the play was whistled dead:
Parros and Ruutu received misconduct penalties for that nonsense. The best response came from The Mighty SOB, as he let the Ducks know what the important message really was, and a Nashville Predators legend was born:
We'll certainly miss that attitude around Smashville next season, but for Preds fans, this was a highlight to remember!