By D. Smith:
This has been quite a year for Predator fans. The 0-3 start. The 7 game road win streak. The climb to the top. The Al Strachan "Get Out of Nashville" article. The Forsberg trade. The Tootoo/Robidas incident. The Nashville/San Jose exchanges in the playoffs.
What a year it's been. And it seems like it's been an awfully long one. I feel like the loyal Pred fans have, sort of, strengthened their allegiance to the team this year. Not only has our team come under fire, but so have we...the fans. It's made us stronger, and we tried so hard to believe this was a team of destiny. Of course, in hindsight that doesn't look too smart, but we couldn't keep from hoping.
Now I sit here, early on Friday morning, half a day before the Predators may take their last skate in the Nashville Arena this year. There are a lot of players I may see for the last time, and may possibly hear Barry Trotz introduced as coach for the final time. The second-longest tenured coach in the NHL, and the man who led our franchise to where it is now is stuck in a stand-still, and it may cost him his job.
This is the 3rd straight season I've been faced with watching the Preds in a do-or-die home game. They've lost both times, but this doesn't seem like a normal final game to me. Something is weird and uncertain. I feel like I don't want this year to end. I want to keep living by Predators hockey. I proudly miss work, skip parties, and stay in Nashville without chasing my dreams elsewhere so I can be a member of the Loyal Legion every single game night. For one like me, there are thousands more.
Come on Preds, this is your time to prove what you're made of. We don't want this season to come to an end. We're assuming you dont either....
Maybe (but hopefully not) for one last time: Go Preds!