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Columbus & Nashville: Why This is THE Most Important Game of the Season


There comes a point in EACH season for the Nashville Predators where there is ONE defining moment that the fans, the players, the coaches, everyone will remember for the rest of the year. That point will come today.

When the Predators and Jackets take the ice in about two and a half hours, there are two feelings that will leave the ice at the end of the game: Hope and Dejection. Whoever wins will have hope and whoever loses will have dejection, it’s that simple.

Even though the Predators are 2-4-1 since beating Detroit (yes, folks, The Detroit Hangover is still in effect), they’ve played some solid games recently, however The Hockey Gods don’t find it in their hearts for the Predators to catch a break. San Jose, Phoenix, Chicago, Dallas…all games the Predators should have at least had a chance at 1, or even 2 points. However, the Predators have found themselves in their SIXTH losing streak of 3 games or more. If the Predators can find the fire that almost led them to victory yesterday and that they really haven’t seen since Vancouver, they can get themselves BACK into the top 8 and keep the hope alive that many in Predator nation seem to be losing.

If they lose, however? They’ll reach a exhausting 5 game losing streak on the way out to their final lengthy road trip of the season where they will play 4 teams who would love nothing more to make it a 9 game losing streak. Dejection is the only REASONABLE word I could fine to describe the feeling the Predators will have if they lose tonight

As for Columbus? Winning todays game will be a HUGE accomplishment for this team. The Jackets have lost their past FOURTEEN (14) games in the Bridgestone Arena/Sommet Center/Gaylord Entertainment Center. A win today breaks a long streak of futility, brings them 1 point back of the playoffs with 2 games in hand over Nashville/Calgary, and brings hope to a franchise starving for another shot at the playoffs after the demoralizing sweep by Detroit in 2009.

A loss? Well, besides pushing the Predators back into the playoffs and giving them their 15th straight win against them at home, they’ll be starting their 5 game road swing on a sour note, as they play nearly the same teams the Predators play. Being 4 points back out of the playoffs and playing Edmonton/Vancouver/Calgary/St. Louis doesn’t sound too nice if you don’t start the trip with a win.

So, as I said, Hope and Dejection are both on the line for today’s game…however, who will have the more fire, the more determination, the more WANT to pull out the win and the two HUGE points? Who wants it bad enough?

Will we see the Predators who absolutely handed it to Detroit/Colorado/Vancouver? Will we see their missing offense? The team that can dominate when they score 3 goals? Or will we see the Predators who were shut out for 140:50 and couldn’t BUY a goal if they wanted one?

Will we see the Blue Jackets team who stifled the Predators for two periods before unleashing hell in the third with 4 straight unanswered goals? Will we see Rick Nash completely demolish the Predator defense like we know he can? Or will we see the Blue Jackets who haven’t beaten the Predators in 14 games at the Bridgestone arena and can’t seem to buy a win.

I’m excited, I’m nervous, but I’m proud. I’m proud to be a Predators fan and watch this growing rivalry on what is the MOST important game of the season

Thanks for reading!