Predators are 5-0 at Home and Hope Fans Can Help Them Extend Home Winning Streak to 10
by Thomas Willis @TomAWillis / Digital Manager & Producer
Will Smashville reach another level of passion and excitement for Game Three of the Western Conference Final?
Is that even possible?
“It shouldn’t be possible, but [the fans] proved us wrong a lot of times. They can be even louder,” Preds winger Filip Forsberg said. “[I’m] looking forward to tomorrow.”
With the Predators 5-0 on home ice – the only team in the playoffs to still be undefeated in their own barn – it only seems right their fans would take the volume up another level as the franchise plays its first-ever conference final game at home.
The reputation the gold-clad, catfish-throwing Loyal Legion at Bridgestone Arena has built for themselves during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs has not only a national audience taking notice as they hear chants on their TV but the club’s own players itching to hear the decibel levels swell Tuesday night.
“I expect what I’ve seen so far. It’s the loudest building I’ve played in the NHL,” blueliner P.K. Subban said. “I can’t say enough about our fan base and the community and the state of Tennessee and the city of Nashville on how they supported us through this run so far. And I would expect that to continue.”
“I mean, it gets you fired up,” Forsberg said. “It’s more than 24 hours to go, but it still gets you fired up just thinking about it. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The resume filled by Predators fans in this postseason alone is quite impressive. There was the comeback win in Game Three against the Chicago Blackhawks where the fans didn’t greet their team with boos when they began the third period down 2-0, but instead voiced a throaty yell.
The Smashville-patented standing ovations during TV timeouts are already too numerous to total, but here are two of the more impressive examples from this spring. First, sheer volume led to Roman Josi’s first goal of the game halfway through the second and a run of three in a row that helped sweep Chicago in Game Four. Two weeks later, more than 17,200 in attendance willed Ryan Ellis to snap a third-period deadlock with the St. Louis Blues as Nashville went up 3-1 in the Second Round series.
Nine consecutive victories on home ice in the playoffs dating back to last year likely speaks for itself. But that didn’t stop Preds players and management from dreaming about the opportunity before them. With a 1-1 series in the Western Conference Final, two more wins at home would put the Predators a victory away from the Stanley Cup Final.
“We did what we wanted to do. We went [to Anaheim] to get one game and we had the opportunity to get two,” Subban said. “It didn’t happen. But now we’re back home on home ice. We want to take advantage of that.”
So again, the leading question, will there be another notch hit at Bridgestone Arena tomorrow?
“That would be great,” Nashville Head Coach Peter Laviolette said. “They’re great during the regular season. They’ve been unbelievable in the playoffs. As we move on everything gets heightened a little bit, [and] they’ve been terrific.”