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Predators in the Wild: Playoff Edition

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A special social media recap of the beloved local hockey team’s journey to their first Western Conference Final.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Recap

Round 1 - Chicago Blackhawks

When the Nashville Predators were seeded to face the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, everyone outside of Nashville wrote them off. Just another stepping stone in the Blackhawks quest for their fourth Cup in x-amount of years.

When the Predators shut-out the Blackhawks twice in Chicago, eyebrows were raised. When they came home and won Game 3, the hype-train geared up for the un-thinkable. Could they do it? Could the underdogs overthrow the NHL’s team?

When they won Game 4, believers were made...

...Questions were raised...

...and people were fired...

How did a southern hockey franchise who came off a streaky regular season with a post-elite goaltender, and zero Stanley Cups dethrone the NHL’s reigning team? There are plenty of reasons. The Predators had more hunger, more drive, more motivation, more handsomeness, but most importantly...

...they were better.

Round 2 - St. Louis Blues

The Blues weren’t completely favored to move past the first round against the Minnesota Wild, but thanks in large part to some phenomenal goaltending from Jake Allen...

...they moved on to face the Predators in the second round. The matchup was slated to be a little more even. Neither team was Goliath and neither team would be underestimated again. That wouldn’t stop the hate and the negative media from flowing against Nashville.

Suddenly P.K. Subban was a target of unnecessary criticism from an NBC broadcaster about basically being P.K. Subban.

We get it, it’s hard not being P.K. Subban.

Questioning Subban’s game is one thing, calling him names and accusing him of not being focused is just a good way to turn an entire city of rowdy hockey fans with southern values against you.

Mike Milbury might have backtracked his statement but the message was clear.

One of the league’s biggest superstars was wearing a Preds jersey, but still...nobody liked us...but we absolutely didn’t care.

Smashville... It's #LIT #StandWithUs #PKApproved

A post shared by P.K. Subban (@subbanator) on

Subban was still Subban, the glorious dancing social media king of Nashville. And he had bigger things to worry about, like finally helping the Preds past their Second Round hump.

Things were looking up for the Preds, they had a slight edge over St Louis and the victory over Chicago driving them to play their best hockey. But this is hockey, it can’t all be sunshine and rainbows. The Preds would suffer their worst loss of the playoffs during Game 1 in St. Louis with the loss of Kevin Fiala.

The Preds would go on to win the game, but Fiala was taken to the hospital with a fractured femur, ending his playoff run. It was a tough pill to swallow, but it wouldn’t derail the Preds from their goal.

There was a little of this...

...a little of that...

...this totally normal not impressive goal from James Neal...

...a lot of this...

...probably too much of this...

...some good ole’ fashioned good will towards our rivals...

...and all the glorious cellies...

The Preds made franchise history by defeating the Blues and moving on to the Western Conference Final for the first time.

It feels a lot like this...

...with a little of this...

... and a whole lotta this...

Round 3 - Anaheim Ducks

The Preds will face the Ducks in their first Western Conference Final, and if it’s anything like last year’s Round 1, it will be brutal.

But nevertheless it will be history in the making. Unknown territory for most of the team, the franchise, and the city of Nashville. Hold on to your butts.