There really doesn’t need to be too much of an intro here. Deep breath. Go.
It’s clear there is plenty of confidence in the Nashville locker room. Nick Bonino has played in five Game 7s and can certainly provide excellent leadership tonight. So can veteran Scott Hartnell.
The Predators need to stick to their game plan tonight. Winnipeg will be doing all it can to disrupt the Predators and counterattack.
Nashville’s leading goal scorers need to again step up, but maximum effort from all four lines and all three pairs will yield better results than just depending on JoFA.
Finally, the Predators should keep their foot on the gas for the whole game. We cannot have any of this “oh, I’ll just ice the puck 32 times” business because Winnipeg will most definitely take advantage of a turtle game. They should and WILL play their hearts and guts out tonight.
The Winnipeg Jets
The Jets have a right to be confident, too. They played at full-speed nearly all season with all kinds of injuries up and down their lineup. They have incredible, speedy, and skilled talent. They have a Vezina-finalist goaltender. They should be confident taking the ice in Bridgestone.
The Jets have had an extra day of rest, too.
Their leadership will be pumping up their young guys in the locker room. Winnipeg absolutely has the talent to move past Nashville tonight, and Nashville should not for ONE SECOND believe that Winnipeg will give less than 100% tonight.
Memories and Feelings
-I have so many feelings. They’re all conflicted. I’m sure yours are too. How do you feel today, Smashville?
-What do you do with all your nervous energy prior to a big game? Personally, I listen to podcasts. Right now, I’m listening to Dan Carlin’s “Hardcore History.” It’s hard to be worried/hyped about a game when you have Carlin’s deep voice discussing the total destruction of World War One in your ear.
Reasons to Watch
Tonight’s Theme Song
I thought back to the beginning of this season. I thought about how much this city rallied around their boys in gold sweaters after last season’s Cup Final. I thought about how much anticipation we felt coming into the season.
I thought about Nick Bonino, Kyle Turris, and Craig Smith. I thought about the rookie Eeli Tolvanen making his Smashville debut. I thought about “oh, say can Juuse?” and “Fiala Time” and “I’m thinking Arvi’s.” I thought about Scott Hartnell returning to Nashville with a little gray in his hair...about deer hunting season being over for Mike Fisher...about Pekka’s incredible season...about “the toothless wonder” Austin Watson and the return of Ryan Ellis. There’s so much to remember. There’s also so much to look forward to.
“Another morning, a morning, don’t let self get in my way,
I got my breath, I got my faith and I remember why I came...
Now I feel glorious, glorious
Got a chance to start again.
I was born for this, born for this.
It’s who I am, how could I forget?”
Tonight’s Drink of Choice
Choose what you want tonight as long as it’s from the great state of Tennessee. Personally, I’m on a bit of a wine thing right now...so it’s Arrington’s Stag’s white wine for me tonight.
How to Watch
Since this series is the only one to go 7 games, we have prime TV viewing available tonight. NBC Sports will have live game coverage, and 102.5 The Game has the radio call. Puck drop will be a bit after 7.
There are tons of watch parties all over the city for those of you who can’t be at Bridgestone. The Walk of Fame Park across from Bridgestone has outdoor viewing, and I’d be willing to bet most bars and restaurants will have the game on.
Let’s go, boys.