Heartbreak, but so much joy in the run to the Stanley Cup finals.
You have to read this incredible piece written by Pekka Rinne about our incredible experience going to the finals and showing the world what Nashville is made of. Our goaltender, and masked face of the franchise for song long, Pekka Rinne poured out his soul in this.
He opens up about those feelings in the locker room after losing the final game.
Looking around at everyone — everyone who had fought with you all the way to a Cup final, to a Game 6, to a bounce away from a Game 7 — and it was hard to keep your emotions in check. They weren’t even all bad emotions. I was proud, for sure — both of this team and of myself. And I definitely wasn’t breaking sticks or anything. But I was still … I don’t know. It’s kind of hard to explain. There was nothing left to do, you know? So I just sat at my locker, and I looked at everyone, and I thought about everything, and I cried.
He went into the change that happened to the team.
I think mentally, for us, something changed after that Chicago series — just belief-wise and confidence-wise. Our momentum during the postseason … it wasn’t this slow build, picking up with each series, after each win. It was more like: With that Blackhawks sweep, everyone took notice of us, all at once. We pretty much went from being the 8-seed to being a legitimate contender — overnight. And we loved it.
And he talked about this great hockey city.
Honestly. I felt like, as soon as that puck dropped, our fans — they were as hockey-savvy as any in the league. And calling it a “football game” atmosphere, yeah, that might be right. But not NFL football. More like … college football. It’s almost like our home crowds are the NHL crossed with the SEC: Just a sea of people, having a good time, going nuts watching a game, and — most of all — being extremely loud. And we love it.
And it’s been like that from the moment I got here.
You can read the entire article written by Pekka himself (that raves about Nashville and our evolution) here in The Players Tribune.