4-3-08: Blues @ Preds: The Fairway Edition Part V
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04-04-2008, 01:08 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
First, I’d like to congratulate the Oilers fans on a great comeback season. After last season, it had to be bittersweet to go through this season the way it ended, but I am appreciative of the effort that team gave tonight when they could have mailed it in. I’ve always enjoyed watching the Oil, and especially enjoy the way their home arena comes across on tv. Also congrats to Vancouver and Chicago on hard fought seasons.
I’m hard-pressed tonight to think of a better regular season game in the history of the Predators than tonight’s game. I’m also hard-pressed to think of a time where I’ve been prouder of our team and our fanbase. How about Marty freaking Erat laying out to block that shot at the end of the game? They are a frustrating team at times, but they really showed some heart. I think if I were to rate my proudest moments of our fanbase, I’d throw tonight into the mix with the crowd at the airport to greet the team off the plane from Denver in 2004 , the home playoff games against Detroit in 2004, and the 2003 draft.
We’ve been through some bitter moments as a fanbase, not as many, of course, as fans of all of the older franchises, but we’ve seen some tough moments in our brief history. Last summer’s relocation ordeal was the low point, but we’ve rarely won the big, critical game. Even when we did against Chicago in 2003, Legwand broke his collarbone in the game and we went in the tank. After we lost to St. Louis at the end of the 2004 season, we experienced the d-bag convention that was the 300 or so Blues fans that drove out for the game taunting us outside the GEC that Saturday afternoon as we walked out once again losing the big game and once again not knowing if we’d make the playoffs. I have enjoyed every bit of our 20-3-1 record against that franchise ever since that day, culminating in the win tonight, which was the type of atmosphere and night that long time fans of the Predators deserved.
I know we’ll be lucky to take Detroit or San Jose beyond 5 games, and, while I respect the heck out of Barry Trotz for getting to this point under the circumstances he was dealt, I still have a lot of questions about the future of the franchise and how they should approach trying to rebuild and win a first round series. But, tonight is sweet and it’s something to savor. It was great to look around the arena tonight during that TV timeout and just soak in the visuals and the noise. It was great to see how much the players and coaches enjoyed it. As tough as last summer was for us, it was also tough on the players, coaches, and their families.
Someday they’ll win a playoff series and make a run and it’s likely to be a time when we least expect it. It wouldn’t surprise me if Ellis and a line or two get hot and we pull off the seemingly impossible this season. It also won’t surprise me if we get shut out for 4 straight game against Detroit or San Jose. Chelios will whine and expertly deflect pressure from his team and Hasek will knock the net off with his butt on a breakaway and get away with it. Or, Ron Wilson will cry about how he got no calls despite getting 5 on 3 after 5 on 3 and expertly deflect pressure from his team. We know the drill. We’ll worry about that next week. For now, the diehard long-term fans get some well deserved payoff for sticking it out.
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