History Believes In Firsts
Every time Predators fans watched the "History Will Be Made" videos for the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Predators might have got a slight nod in the production with a whiff of Gold and Blue on the screen in the form of a determined-looking Shea Weber. This promo finally featured the Predators after they accomplished the impossible by beating the Ducks in Anaheim with a last minute game-tying wrister from Shea Weber and the game-winning goal in overtime from Jerred Smithson. Sometimes a little recognition is all a team needs to get over that proverbial hump.
Beating the Old Guard
The Red Wings, since the inception of the Predators, have been the high watermark for success in the NHL. The biggest rivalry for Nashville fans has been the Winged Wheel, with many Detroit transplants in the immediate area coming out to the games and make the crowd a sea of red. Although this is the second time Nashville advanced to the second round of the playoffs, this victory finally got the large red monkey off the back of the Predator faithful.
Apologies for it being a Detroit T.V. feed...but tears of defeat are so yummy and sweet.
Predators First Home Playoff Goal...Thank You Leggy
The Predators finally made the post season and in the first round faced the dreaded Detroit Red Wings who won both games in the Motor City. In Music City, the atmosphere was electric. It was uncharted territory in Nashville. The fans came out with faces painted and everyone was on the edge of their seats and holding their breath to see if the Predators could not only score but win the game. David Legwand, the Original Nashville Predator, of course scored the first home playoff goal for Nashville and the eruption from the crowd shook the stained glass at the Ryman.
Smithson Scores in OT
Incredibly, the Predators tied up Game 5 against the Ducks on a Shea Weber wrist shot. It only took three minutes of overtime for a buzzing Jordin Tootoo to find Smithson streaking down the slot for the game winner. First Game 5 win and first overtime win in the playoffs for Nashville. Full disclosure: I tackled my wife into the couch in jubilation when Smithson scored. Good Times.
The Loudest Empty Net Ever!
If the first ever home playoff goal was earth-rumbling, then this celebration breaks the sound barrier. I was there, hopefully you were too. The Predators had taken a 2-1 lead with two goals by Nick Spaling. The Ducks were flying around the ice and putting a ton of pressure in the Preds zone. With a gaping net, the Predators managed to chip the puck out of their zone and to the waiting stick of David Legwand. He fired the series-clenching empty netter and the crowd went berserk. I'll admit it...I cried a little with my wife and Dirk was a few seats down from me and he might have got a little misty (but you didn't hear that from me). Predators win their first playoff series and all is right with the world.
And another angle just in case...
These are just a few instances of greatness from the team we all know and love. Spread the joy today of these amazing playoff moments and attempt to swat away the dark cloud hanging over the team from the last five games. Everybody starts the playoffs 0-0, and maybe this has been the greatest rope-a-dope since Ali. Watch out Western Conference... the Predators are coming to rip your hearts out.