The Nashville Predators are enjoying their best playoff run in franchise history. Granted, they lost Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals against Anaheim, 3-2 in overtime, on Thursday, missing a golden opportunity to take a 3-1 series lead. But the city of Nashville hasn’t lost hope.
Not one bit.
“After living here and covering this team, I can tell you it is a hockey town,” Fox Sports South Predators reporter Lyndsay Rowley said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “After Game 6 (against the Blues), I was out to eat at a restaurant, and it was not a sports bar, it wasn’t some Preds’ restaurant, it was just a random restaurant – and a ‘Let’s go Preds’ chant broke out in the middle of the restaurant. So it’s really been crazy to see this town really rally around this team and embrace them. If there was any doubt before this year of whether Nashville is a hockey town, it certainly has been put to rest. That reputation, it’s here to stay and it’s going to stick.”
Nashville went 41-29-12 this season and finished behind both Chicago and St. Louis. The Predators, however, went 8-2 against the Blackhawks and Blues in the postseason.
“The best I’ve seen them was in that Chicago series,” Rowley said, referring to the first-round sweep. “It’s almost like a magical feeling when everything sort of comes together. This year, there were ups and owns for the Predators, they had lulls at home sometimes, they had lulls on the road, and for them to be able to come together and be on the same page – something just clicked. The Predators just seemed to get on the right page. It was just a feeling, an emotion in the room. Toward the end of the year, you could feel it in the locker room, a confidence starting to build. I think it hit that peak right when they went in to play Chicago.”
Nashville will face Anaheim in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals on Saturday. Puck drops at 7:15 p.m. ET.