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Predators in the Wild: Vae Victis Edition

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There’s only one thing left to do.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Anaheim Ducks at Nashville Predators Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Setting the Scene

It’s the eve of April 5, 2018 and the beloved local hockey team is facing off against the Washington Capitals. A win will seal the Central Division, the Western Conference, and quite possibly the Presidents’ Trophy. Three franchise firsts for the Nashville Predators.

Do you have chills right now? You should. This moment has only been 20 years in the making.

But the game is only just beginning, so let’s take a look back. How did we get here?

The Recap

The last time we met, we were a few days into 2018. The Preds were ping ponging around the top of the central, the west, and the league after they traded for Kyle Turris.

Just when it seemed like Poile was all out of moves he convinced Mike Fisher to return from his extended hunting journey through the wilderness...uh...retirement, he convinced him to come out of retirement.

...and Poile had jokes...

But the High Wizard-ing GM of Nashville still. wasn’t. done. As the trade deadline closed in, Poile started conjuring...

Naturally people had questions. It’s not every day the Preds make trades with their mortal enemies. In the end...Hartman fit right in...

And just when you thought this team couldn’t get anymore dangerous...

Eeli Tolvanen made his way to the NHL.

Somewhere Along The Way...

David Poile became the most winningest GM in NHL history

What a night. #1320

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Pekka Rinne won his 300th NHL game...

Mr. 300. The @garyforceacura Accurate Shot of the Week.

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...and it was emotional...

...but Nashville’s love for Rinne made the campaign for #Pekka4Vezina even stronger!

There were new little tiny editions...

...several new little tiny editions...

Craig Smith became the embodiment of all things Nashville when he performed at the Blue Bird Cafe...

And P.K. Subban did what he does best...thriving off his haters by living his best life...

And Now...

As the final two periods of hockey commenced in Washington...

The Western Conference has its champion and it’s the @PredsNHL! #StanleyCup

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Central Division - Clinched!

And we were like...

Western Conference - Clinched!

And we were like...

But if new banners weren’t enough to have you feeling emotional, the Preds still had one last thing to clinch and it was all riding on the Florida Panthers. You know, the same team that caused us all to go into a blind rage days earlier because of this goaltender interference debacle...

...you remember.

We all know there is a certain flair for dramatics in the NHL but COME ON! Really?

While we all silently hoped the terrible things we said about the Panthers wouldn’t come back to haunt us, we waited in agony for the game in Florida to end...

We weren’t alone...

And then something incredible happened...

Presidents’ Trophy - Clinched!

And we were like...

They did it. On their milestone 20th anniversary season the Nashville Predators conquered the Central Division, the Western Conference, and topped the entire league.

The Nashville Predators summed up in one Tweet...

One Thing Left To Do...

We’ve known the Preds were going to the playoffs for a while now, who their first round nemesis will be still remains unknown. Some of the usual suspects will be absent this year.

Chicago - Imploded.

St. Louis - Hutton’d into obscurity.

Dallas - Still a hockey team.

Playoff hockey is a different beast, but so far we’ve been thriving off the tears of our enemies all season...

...overcoming playoff hostility and deep-seated rivalries is Nashville’s specialty after all.

Since Chicago is already hitting the back nine, you think they’ll let us barrow one of those 3 Cups they’re always talking about to collect those previously mentioned tears in?

We have a whole squad of guys with 50+ points we have to keep hydrated for the long haul and we all know what happens to water bottles in the playoffs...

Brace yourselves, the Nashville Predators have some unfinished business to attend to...

2017 NHL Awards And Expansion Draft Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

And that’s where the real fun begins...