I didn't see a new members thread in here, and the bandwagon thread doesn't seem right as I'm a permanent fan. So, I'm making one to say hi!
I was born and raised in L.A., and moved to Nashville with my wife in 2007. In fact, one of my first days out to see the town was the 2007 Save the Preds rally. Knowing the NHL was here was a big part of why I agreed to the move (my wife is from here), and I did NOT want to see that ripped away from me.
For the first couple years I was a Kings-Preds fan, then Preds-Kings fan. In the last couple seasons I've transitioned to full on Preds fan. I just can't maintain the passion for a team I can only see live twice a year.
The fervor of Prednation has certainly helped my journey. From the first Preds games I went to in Dec. '05 and Dec. '06 while visiting my then girlfriend now wife's family I could see there was something special here.
I was particularly impressed with the passion the fans had for the team. It was obvious that Kings fans had nothing on Preds fans. In fact, it made me kind of jealous when I went back to Staples Center and really saw the contrast in noise and enthusiasm. I guess L.A. is too much a "front-runners" town that only really supports the team when they're winning, and there are far too many transplants who retain their loyalty to their hometown teams there. Think Red Wings games are bad here? Imagine nearly every home game like that in terms of the support for the visitors - that's Staples Center.
There is certainly a core group of Kings fans that are as passionate for the Kings as Preds fans are for the Preds. But the Preds enjoy far greater support from the more casual fan base, and it's great to be in a town where that's the case.
I have the good fortune of having a father-in-law who has season tickets, so I've gotten to go to quite a few games. Season tix of my own are in the future, but two daughters in daycare makes that impossible at present.
My favorite player is Hornqvist because of his work ethic and willingness to take a beating in front of the net to get the dirty goals. He may never achieve the same kind of numbers, but there's more than a passing comparison to Luc Robitaille there: late draft pick, too slow, not enough skill, etc., etc., yet he consistently grinds out the tough points to be among his team's scoring leaders.
My favorite moments are the series win over Anaheim and one of those first games I went to in '05 or '06. It was against the Kings (for whom I was still rooting at the time). The game was just going back and forth with not a lot of sustained action or pressure for either side. Suddenly, Tootoo came barreling onto the ice, and within about 45 seconds had leveled two different Kings players with rugged checks. The crowd erupted, and within another minute or so the Preds bagged a goal. It was utterly surreal, and even though it went against my team the emotion in the arena palpable and impossible to ignore or forget.
I just moved back to Nashville from LA a week ago and I'll definitely agree that Preds fans are far louder and more passionate as a whole than Kings fans. I did enjoy going to games at Staples though and there are a lot of Kings die-hards, they just don't get the widespread support the Preds do. Overall I don't think it/they are that bad really but then again maybe it's because Anaheim is worse than LA could ever be, and that's the comparison.