Well I'll be damned. They did it.
The Predators fought their way to the Western Conference Finals for the first time ever. Following that 3-1 win over the Blues, this team can say they've been further in the playoffs than any Preds team in the past. They reached a new branch on their perpetual climb to the top of hockey relevance.
Look, I don't want to be satisfied with this. And I don't want this team to be satisfied with it either. I don't want to look back and admit this was the peak of the Preds season. I don't want this to be the footnote of the season that they didn't get it done. There are far more battles to win and far more struggles to overcome. As Laviolette has pointed out before, each round of the playoffs is tougher than the last.
But even with that in mind, this is pretty damn cool.
Nashville Predators News
Preds Win Game Six, Advance to Western Conference Final
What, like it was hard?
Predators advance to first WCF | NHL.com
YES. YES THEY DID. (This is a great series recap vid, btw)
Johansen's slick backhand finish | NHL.com
This goal--this goal right here--is why you trade for Johansen. He beats the Blues best defensemen down the ice, skating with a rocket-jet on his back, handles the pass perfectly, dekes the goalie and scores. In the 3rd period of an elimination game. So huge.
Predators make history the hard way
"That was the pass of Viktor Arvidsson's young career..." You nailed it Joe. Johansen may have had the finish, but Arvy did a fantastic job of skating up ice and dishing a *perfect* pass to Joey.
Predators reach 1st Western Conference final in team history, ousting Blues - Chicago Tribune
Heyyy there Chicago Tribune.
Bridgstone Arena errupts after Predators clinch spot in Western Conference finals
Grainy video, horrible sound, but you get the idea. Place went nuts!
P.K. Subban tries and fails to interview Predators teammate after series win - SBNation.com
This was great. Also, I love Josi's response to Subban's "question"...
Other Hockey News
Anaheim Ducks 1, Edmonton Oilers 7 | NHL.com
The Oilers scored five goals in the 1st period to blow out the Ducks and send the series to seven games. We have to wait until Wednesday night to find out the next opponent. Agony!
Twitter Reaction: Oilers respond to controversy with goals galore - Sportsnet.ca
This didn't deliver quite as well as I hoped it would, but it was still fun.
After Ducks’ stunning win, look back at five shocking playoff comebacks | The Hockey News
I remember the Lucic and Bergeron combo in the final minute of that 2013 Game 7 against the Leafs vividly. I just remember staring at the screen assuming that something had gone wrong. No way did that just happen.