Editorials

Chicago Blackhawks Were “Outplayed”–Love Nashville!

By Keith Schultz
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Good morning Chicago Blackhawks fans! We are only one day away from the start of the 2nd round series against the Minnesota Wild! Before we started talking about that series let’s look back at the Nashville series one more time. I went to Game #5 in Nashville and purchased my tickets through Ticketmaster so I get all the courtesy calls from the Nashville Predators and I even received this email from the Nashville Predators Chairman Tom Cigarran.

Dear Keith,

 

On behalf of the Nashville Predators ownership group, staff and players, thank you for your outstanding support throughout this season and for turning Bridgestone Arena into a sea of gold during our playoff series against Chicago. Losing in the playoffs is always painful, especially considering how hard our team worked and how close we came to advancing to the next round.  We share your pain and we are still coming to grips with the fact that our season has ended.

There is no doubt that this season, both the regular season but especially the playoffs, was an important learning experience for our very young team. A team that, based on what transpired throughout the year, will continue to grow and develop and be a team that will compete for the Stanley Cup every year for years to come. Among the keys to playoff success, in addition to a strong team and playoff experience, are health and good fortune. Playing without Captain Shea Weber for four games and center Mike Fisher for three certainly increased the challenge but our young players stepped up admirably. Losing double and triple overtime games while outplaying Chicago, games where one bounce of the puck would have changed a loss into a win, tested this teams’ character. They responded by fighting back to win Game Five on home ice and push the Blackhawks to the very end of Game Six.

A re-tooling of our team began just two seasons ago. In that short time, we acquired Filip Forsberg, James Neal and Mike Ribeiro; we drafted Seth Jones and Kevin Fiala (among other young prospects) and we changed course with the addition of Peter Laviolette as our head coach this season.  While we are disappointed to not be playing today, it is a measure of our progress that in two years we have gone from finishing the regular season in 27th place in the NHL in the 2012-13 season, to 19th in the 2013-14 season to 6th in the 2014-15 season. And Coach Laviolette has certainly transformed our team into a more aggressive, offensive and exciting club to watch.

Not many outside of our organization predicted great things for the Predators entering the 2014-15 season. Yet in many ways, it was a special season. From a 15-5-2 start that led to the best record in the NHL through 60 games, to the second best home record in the NHL, your franchise record 30 sell-outs helped transform Bridgestone Arena into a true home ice advantage. From the outstanding rookie season of Filip Forsberg, to the creative playmaking of Mike Ribeiro, to the Vezina finalist goaltending of Pekka Rinne, to the dominant play of the NHL’s top defensive unit led by Shea Weber and Roman Josi, this team improved in many areas.  And the future is even brighter as we witnessed during the playoffs when Josi, Jones, Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis—all under 25—went toe-to-toe with some of the best offensive players in the game. Up front, Colin Wilson and Craig Smith had career years while Mike Fisher added 19 goals in only 60 games.

Our ultimate goal is to win the Stanley Cup. To have a chance to win the Cup, a team must qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We not only took that step but we are well-positioned to be a Cup contender for many years to come. In addition to the players you are watching in Nashville, there are several promising young players in our pipeline. Among them are NCAA goal-scoring leader Jimmy Vesey and KHL goal/scoring leader Steve Moses; as well as Colton Sissons, Victor Arvidsson, Kevin Fiala and Austin Watson, all playing, or soon to be playing in Milwaukee.

Your Predators’ ownership group is committed to continue to build upon the successes of this past season and deliver the end result we are all after, the Stanley Cup…  The partnership with you, Predators’ fans and our players, staff and owners is one we are all very proud of and it is what drives us to make you and our community proud of the Nashville Predators each and every day.  You have our word that we will not rest until we bring the Stanley Cup to Nashville.

Again, thank you for your ongoing support. We are already working on and looking forward to a great 2015-16 season as the best is yet to come. Your support makes all this possible and is sincerely appreciated.

GO PREDS!

Tom Cigarran

Chairman

The line in the second paragraph states that the Nashville Predators outplayed the Blackhawks but lost in Double and Triple overtimes.  Yes, The Nashville Predators outplayed the Blackhawks in the first period of Game #1, but they didn’t outplay them the entire game especially in the 2nd period when the Chicago Blackhawks outscored them 3-0.  And in the triple overtime game which was a great game to watch both teams were pretty evenly matched.

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Yes, the Predators at times looked like the better team, but they don’t have the championship heart which comes through in those tough times when you have to dig deep in triple overtime.

This like their Keep the Red Out campaign and trying to freeze out Stub Hub ticket buyers for the playoffs just goes to show how insecure this franchise really is which is a real shame since they have a very good fan base for a team in the south.

Be gracious in defeat Nashville!

What do you think of their statement?

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