With hockey season upon us, I was thinking about how much hockey has become a part of my life the last four years and why I love the sport so much. Memories of different events have come flooding back to me, so I thought why not share with anyone who reads this some of my favorite Nashville Predators moments. Now remember, I've only been a fan for a short period of time, so I'm sure some of you have much better memories to share.
1. The First TV Timeout Standing Ovation: April 3, 2008
Even though this occurs more often now, the very first one was the most memorable. I have chills thinking about it right now. It was the last home game of the season, and free T-shirt night. I almost missed this game due to inventory at work & not having tickets. My Budweiser rep has a sister that works for the Predators, so he called her & got us tickets (thanks Clint & Courtney!!). We were playing the St. Louis Blues and hoping to finish with enough points to get into the playoffs. The atmosphere was electric, but you could tell the guys needed a little boost. Boy did they get it! Toward the end of the game, an obligatory TV timeout occurred, and during that time, every fan in the Arena was on their feet, waving their free T-shirts. No interruptons from in game ops, no music, no announcements or cues from Paul. It was just a spontaneous show of support and pride for our team. It was so loud!!! I'll never forget the feeling I had during those moments. It was clearly a moment that helped get me hooked on hockey!
2. Steve Sullivan's Return: January 10, 2009
I almost didn't go to this game. I decided at the last minute to purchase tickets for the game & took my nephew, since Dad wanted to stay home and watch the rest of the Titans playoff game (his mistake!). Zach & I got to the arena and sat down by the ice for a while to watch the rest of the Titans game, but my real reason for sitting down by the ice was so Zach could watch the team warm up. Needless to say he was thrilled. We went to our seats up in the 300 level for the game, and Zach really got into the chants and the game. When Sully took his first shift, I thought the building was going to erupt! After all he had been through to get back, he deserved every bit of the ovation he received. I didn't really follow hockey before his injury, but he instantly became my favorite that night. I remember my eyes welling up with tears as he took that first shift. It was a great night that I will never forget, especially since I could share it with Zach.
3. Beating Detroit 8-0: February 28, 2009
This was my birthday present from my dad. The game fell the day after my birthday, and I remember listening to the another hockey game on the radio on the way to Nashville. One team (I think it was NYR) scored several quick goals to start the game, and my dad said maybe we'd have the same luck. I just laughed it off. Boy was he right! After only 11 minutes it was 5-0 in our favor, I had no voice, and you couldn't get the smile off of my face. Probably my most favorite game ever!
4. My First Playoff Experience: April 2008- versus the Detroit Red Wings
If the TV time out standing ovation didn't get me hooked, my first playoff experience did the trick. The atmosphere in the Arena was so much more electric than regular games. Plus, our hatred of the Wings added to the frenzy. We didn't advance to the second round, but game in this series was just awesome. To come back and score goals to win the game in our barn was just crazy! Seeing Jason Arnott leap onto the glass in celebration is one of my more vivid memories of that game, you know, right before Rads (aka Dino the Dinosaur) jumped on him in celebration & gave him a concussion. I remember this series as a turning point in my hockey fandom. I began to FEEL the highs and lows of wins and losses. I was hooked, and there was no turning back.
These are just a few of my many favorite memories from the past few seasons. I'm excited for this season to start and to have many more memories to share. Training camp starts today...hockey is officially back in Smashville!!