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Wednesday’s Dump & Chase: Bleed It Out

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Air the grievances, release the frustrations, exercise the demons. Then let them go, bury them, and move on. There’s too much work to do this summer to continue looking back on what could have been.

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NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Nashville Predators at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Our playoff dreams are dead.

Our hockey season is over.

Now what?

Summer is here, and the lingering “was this even worth it?” question is floating around your subconscious. Was the money, the time, the effort, the late nights, the emotions you poured into this team worth it when you’ve only been disappointed another year?

Your feelings are justified: you take this ride with the team. You experience the highs and lows just like they do. It’s easy this time of year to say burn it down and start over. You’ve got a list and you want jobs and names and answers to all your frustrations. There was no fun and everything hurts, but once the dust settles and you have time to think over everything that’s happened since October, it’s never really as bad as it seems.

Don’t get me wrong, parts of it were bad, really bad. When you’re feeling the lows it’s easy to think the endgame will never come. Nashville’s Stanley Cup window is closed, and another 20 years of navigating through endless mediocre seasons is all that’s ahead. For whatever reason hockey and the overdramatic lingering feelings of impending doom seem to go hand and hand. I get it, I really do. It’s the brutality of this sport—you can be the best in the league bar none, and have it swept away in four games on a sunny afternoon in April.

The funny thing about closed windows and doors is how easily they can be reopened in a six-month span of 82 games.

Hockey is brutal. Hockey is savage. Hockey doesn’t care about your feelings, but I do. Take the week, stew, let your frustrations reduce to a simmer, ask your questions, demand your answers, mourn the highlights, let go of the ending. Close the book on the 2018-2019 season.

The time to move forward is now. The outline for 2019-2020 starts now and on October 2019 the fun begins again.

[Ed.: Our post-postseason content will pick up tomorrow, after all of us—you included—have had time to settle, and will continue into next week.]

Hockey News & Rants

NHL playoffs: Questions after Dallas Stars end Nashville Predators season | The Tennessean
There’s no time for whats ifs and what could have been; it’s over. Now it’s time to regroup and start laying the groundwork for ‘19-’20.

Stanley Cup Playoffs Daily - Predators eliminated, Caps and Canes will go 7 | ESPN
There’s a lot of things that haunt players and teams; let’s just hope the ‘18-’19 power play isn’t one of those things. It’s dead, it’s buried, and I’m not talking about it anymore.

2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Five reasons the Nashville Predators were eliminated by the Dallas Stars | CBS Sports
The disappearance of the JOFA line is a huge red flag for me. We live and die by the JOFA line and they were practically non-existent when they should have been running the show. That’s a trend Nashville doesn’t want to continue. I don’t want to live in a world defined by Regular Season JOFA and Playoff JOFA.

Honestly, any player who can be defined by regular vs playoff needs to have their career buried with the ghost of Playoff Colin Wilson somewhere in the bowels of Bridgestone.

The one change that the Nashville Predators shouldn’t make this offseason | AtoZSports
When a season ends too soon, the automatic response is “FIRE (INSERT NAME HERE) INTO THE SUN!”

Firing Peter Laviolette is an argument I see both sides to, but the reality is the instant gratification of having someone to blame and having them held responsible is just that: instant gratification, with long-term consequences to follow.

David Poile isn’t one to make these types of changes lightly. Barry Trotz was given 15 years of chances with barely any post-season results. Lavy has had five years and has banners and hardware to show for his efforts. That’s not something Poile is going to ignore.

That’s not to say coaching staff changes won’t be made this summer, but the likelihood of a head coaching spot being open in Nashville seems unlikely.

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s stunning 2019 NHL playoffs exit, explained | SBNation.com
I have one irrational fear for the Nashville Predators and that fear is that they turn out exactly like the Tampa Bay Lighting have the past few years.

I’ve had a seasons-long hard stance that regardless of where Tampa Bay ends their season they’ll never be it for me. I’m not one of those people who can’t believe it until I see it, but for whatever reason, when it comes to the Lightning that’s exactly how I feel. They won’t be Cup contenders again in my eyes until they’re literally hoisting it again.

I had fleeting moments of that “they ain’t it” feeling I feel towards Tampa with the Predators this season and while it sounds like doom and despair, in hindsight I realize it was more Nashville’s complacency of coasting by winning games by the skin of their teeth that was giving me that feeling. Which is normal, given how that strategy panned out for them this season. However, if I ever get that Tampa Bay feeling for real, I’ll let y’all know, and we can ready the pitchforks.

NHL players discuss their least-favorite rules | The Washington Post
I imagine anyone that Nashville got with that offside challenge rule this season hates it. It worked in Nashville’s favor way more than I think the league probably imagined it would for any team.

The NHL playoffs are so much better than the NBA playoffs | For The Win
I have never watched an NBA playoff game in my life, but I’ve watched enough playoff hockey to know that if it doesn’t make you feel like you want to implode by the time it’s over it’s not worth it.

Tuesday’s NHL notebook: Stars ready for next challenge | Press Herald
I had this moment Tuesday morning where I laughed bitterly and had Dallas already picked off by the St. Louis Blues in the second round. Then I realized that no matter what happens, I will never be pro St. Louis in the playoffs...or ever...so I need Dallas to not let the Predators’ loss be in vain.

I still think the Stars have the worst logo in the league. I spend 75% of the season forgetting they exist and generally ignoring the landmass of Texas as a whole, but I do love Friday Night Lights!

And while I don’t think I’ll ever be “Texas Forever” I’ll meet the Stars half-way and be “Texas, For Now”.

Thanks to ‘incredible’ hockey market, Stars-Predators becoming one of NHL’s most popular Winter Classic matchups | Sports Day
Well, would you look at that.

A smug southern hockey fan is smug.