Dear Hockey Gods,
I know it's been a while since we last spoke. Two seasons in fact when your infinite providence brought us to the second round of the playoffs while dashing the hearts of the Winged Wheel, our primary nemesis, four games to one. And for that...we give thanks.
It has been an amazing year already with the emergence of your Prince, Filip Forsberg. He is so young and dear to the Predators faithful and so thoroughly blessed with silky hands, game-changing speed, and might I be so bold as to say, Datsyuk-ian escapability. And for that...we give many thanks.
We also know that hubris comes with a price. We acknowledge a stumbling in the past with the handling of Radulov/A. Kostitsyn. Just know that we thought we were doing right by punishing them for their transgressions, but alas the only judgment that was delivered from the Hockey Gods was a hot goaltender in Mike Smith and the inability to put the puck past his divinely-spawned wall. This especially holds true when two of the best scorers from the series are benched for two games when one would have sufficed. We lay our humble hearts before you in penitence and beseech your forgiveness.
Now to the task at hand.
It is with a heavy heart that we come to you today when the hour is so bleak. The task ahead of the once league-leading Predators is daunting and we face a familiar foe in the Chicago Blackhawks, a team that the Gods have smiled on for quite some time.
But, in the immortal words of one who has joined your ranks, Herb Brooks...
"This is [our] time. Their time is done. It's over. I'm sick and tired of hearing about what a great hockey team the [Blackhawks] have. Screw 'em. This is your time. Now go out there and take it."
All we ask is to simply compete to the best of our abilities. Heal the broken (Weber/Fisher/Nystrom) with expediency. Elevate the worthy to heights not seen since before the All-Star break (Rinne). Help us weather the storm of the second period and let us not be lulled into the sleep of ages during the middle stanza. If you see fit to grant us overtime after overtime, please give our Head Coach the clarity of vision to set aside his derision of a certain defenseman or very young forward to play in the later stages of the game and provide fresh legs at the 80-100 minute mark.
We are but a small market team, but we have seen your glory in years past with the hoisting of the silver chalice by such miraculous circumstances like Tampa Bay and Carolina (remember, you blessed Laviolette before).
No matter what happens...we give thanks for an amazing season (so far) and continue to bless us with remarkable defensemen in the draft and a young forward core for the future. Stick tap for Moses...we see what you did there.
In your hallowed names we pray...