That's right - I wore my Zanon jersey tonight, and that's what the Preds left us with at the end of the 3rd - Zanon goals (Preds Zanon...not Wild Zanon, though that would've been nice as well) and a frosty richer!
Coming off of a day where the Tennessean actually prints a positive article about the Preds being the most point-producing team with the 2nd amount of 30+ point players just behind the Washington Capitols, our boys in blue top off the night with five goals (Wilson, Dumont, Arnott in the 1st; Goc in the 2nd; Hornqvist in the 3rd) and a shut-out thanks to last week's NHL 3rd Star of the Week, Pekka Rinne, who has been quite calm and cool with each and every one of his recent string of wins. Yes, that was one massively uncalled for compound sentence.
I'll say it to the fans and more importantly to those SEC folks that looked a bit lost while crossing the street from the honkytonks in the general direction of hockey: this is a playoff bound team - pay attention.
To the doubters, with tonight's attendance of 16,615, if we keep on with the numbers we've been having over the past few months, we will easily have over 14k average. As of tonight, we topped that magic number the doubters like to use as a de-marketing tool. With numbers like this, hockey won't just stay "until" 2012, it will very much surpass 2012. My heavens - I wonder what the Sports "Authority" thinks of the possibility of the World Cup being held in their team's precious stadium:
"These Nolensville Road types keep cawlin' it futbol! Hey - learn how to speak American! This ain't football! Too many foreigners - not an American sport - denied! I'll use this authority I so wrongly have been given to deny you, World Cup! You think you're bigger than me?"
Yes...yes it does. And so does hockey.
Opponents of sports that are on a sports council are half-wits and cowards and should be stripped of their title and power - simple as that. Yes, we are lucky to have even been given a chance to have a professional hockey team, though we are luckier still to have the youth that are already die-hard fans and players to keep it alive in our great city. Hockey might've been late to our party, but it's still the guest of honor for the rest of the night(s). Hockey is a way of life, no matter what backwoods Southern town or incorporated village a doubter may have hailed from prior to their personal knowledge of the sport. Once a doubter finally realizes that, they no longer have any ground to argue. And once our team hits that playoff ice, perhaps they finally won't want to.
My apologies for the rant, but it's painful to see how little respect is shown not only to Our Team, but to the sport in general - especially by what are supposed to be objective media outlets and government-paid councils.
Lastly, if you could spare your thoughts and/or prayers with Mark Hollingsworth (founder of Cellblock303) and family - his father recently passed on. I don't know him on a personal level, but as a member of 303, a fan of hockey in general, and the fact that he's that guy that's usually always smiling, it just feels right. From everyone at the SPC Haus, our thoughts are with you, Mark.