Well, hockey season officially ended on Sunday (or the NHL’s anyway) and, I’ll admit, I’m still working through a case of the blues (but not the Blues. Gross.)
I was really hoping to be nervously pacing waiting on the Predators to make some Game 7 history tonight instead of writing this but I’m not and it’s fine. Really. It’s fine. Really.
Am I heartbroken? Yep. Is it completely ridiculous how heartbroken I am? Probably a little, but I’m allowing myself to wallow for a bit considering how much this team means to my little family.
For those of you that don’t know the Nashville Predators became an NHL team in 1998 through the league expansion. I can’t say I’ve been there since the beginning although it’s not for lack of trying. Considering hockey is still somewhat of a mystery to a lot of Southerners almost 20 years later, it should come as no surprise that my friends weren’t exactly blowing up my (landline) phone back in 1998 to go to a game with me no matter how many times I mentioned it. Being that I’ve always had a weird pull toward all things Canadian, I really thought I would love hockey. If I could just get someone to go to a game with me.
Then in 2001, I finally met this cute sports reporter who had not only been to some Predators games but was willing to go to one with me. I have been in a serious, steady relationship with both the cute sports reporter (now teacher) and the Nashville Predators ever since.
We’ve attended many games together since the first one and were even able to claim ourselves as partial season ticket holders for a few of them, including their first playoff run back in 2004. Then the lockout happened and we had a baby. Because what else are you supposed to do with no hockey to watch?
Having Brody has brought a whole new level of intensity to the McGill family’s love of hockey. He’s basically an unpaid Nashville Predators historian and also knows more about the history of the NHL in general than any 11-year-old should. Especially any 11-year-old who has repeatedly tried to pretend he doesn’t know how to read to get out of homework. Funny how he has no trouble reading Preds statistics.
We watch most of the games as a family and try to plan at least a few trips to Nashville each season to attend some live games. It’s our thing. We love wrestling, but we LOVE hockey. With wrestling, we all have different favorites, but in hockey we’re united. The Predators are life.
So, all that being said, you can probably imagine our excitement with this year’s postseason. (I’m guessing anyone who lives in this area has at least heard about it. Nashville became quite the national story. It was amazing.) It was historic and magical and their games over the past nine weeks or so have basically been the only reason I’ve met my step goals. And lost my voice. And fine, cried some joyful and sad tears.
While I never counted them out, considering all the injuries the team had over the year, this was not the year we expected them to be in the Stanley Cup Final. And sure, it didn’t end the perfect way we had hoped, but this post isn’t about my sour grapes over officiating or anything else. It’s about how amazing this season was and how much fun and excitement the Predators have provided us with, not just this season, but throughout the years. Thank you guys, we can’t wait until next season!