This one hurts, there's no question about it. Preds fans will get rolling today feeling like they've been punched in the gut, and that won't go away for a while yet. When the Western Conference Finals start between Vancouver and the winner of the San Jose/Detroit series, we'll be left to wonder just how the Preds would have fared.
What might have been? Who knows, but the bottom line is that despite tremendous adversity, this Nashville Predators team pushed the boundaries and wrote a new, encouraging chapter in the team's history this spring. We have heroes to celebrate, moments to remember, and optimism about where the Preds are headed. The best news is, this was a very young team which battled the Presidents Trophy winners, and this experience will make them that much more prepared for a playoff run next spring.
You want optimism? Just this morning, someone ordered a "Me So Hornqvist" t-shirt. That's dedication, folks.
In the days ahead, we'll have a huge amount of post-season coverage, so don't hop off that bandwagon yet. For now, follow after the jump for a sampling of post-game reaction, and hockey news from around the league...
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Nashville Predators News
Preds On The Glass: POTG Tuesday Morning Headlines, News and Links
Buddy's a trooper, up and at 'em with morning links for you.
Postseason Post-Mortem, Part One | Pull My (Fang)Finger
AJ starts pondering the season gone by.
Even after elimination, Predators’ fan ‘renaissance’ will continue - Puck Daddy
There are strong tailwinds behind this franchise - paid attendance was up by over 10% this season, and that was even before the unprecedented playoff run.
Hornqvist: 'I was not playing good enough' - NHL.com
Was he banged up? I imagine we might hear something on that front, considering how limited Hornqvist's ice time was.
Legwand shines despite series loss to Canucks - NHL.com
Playoff Legwand sure is a fun player to watch.
Boclair: New rivals | Nashville City Paper
If if if if if if... a few things all happened, we could see the Preds move to the Eastern Conference. That would be cool, but a long ways off.
Nashville Predators' loss can't cloud season of firsts - The Tennessean
The team made real progress this season, on and off the ice.
Kesler took over against Preds - The Tennessean
There's no question who was the MVP of this series.
Preds still lack offensive punch - The Tennessean
Our old pal John Glennon returned to the Preds beat last night, and returned to a theme we've seen before.
Feschuk: Grimson healthy today, but wonders what future holds - thestar.com
Former Nashville Predator Stu Grimson has good reason to question what his health will be like in the years ahead, given the concussions he suffered during his time as one of the NHL's top enforcers.
Around the NHL
Bieksa and Hamhuis lead Preds shutdown - Times Colonist
The Vancouver D was pretty masterful all series, foiling Nashville's effort to establish possession in the offensive zone time and time again.
Morning Skate: Game 6 - Do or Die, Part III - Winging It In Motown
The Red Wings will continue their playoff fight tonight in Detroit.
Nathan Horton Emerging As A Premier Playoff Performer | The Hockey Writers
Think of him as Boston's Joel Ward.
2011 IIHF Worlds Quarterfinals Set - Puck Worlds
Team USA faces the Czechs as the playoff round begins...
Sean Avery Supports Gay Marriage To Dismay Of Terrible Social Media Strategist - SBNation.com
An agent is supposed to help manage a players' public image, but I think Uptown Sports has left itself open to criticism on that front after sparking a furor on Twitter.
Down Goes Brown: A brief history of NHL playoff goats
On a morning like this, it's good to have a chuckle or two.