Along with Lindsey Nance, the Nashville Predators have the rest of the city on the edge of their seats.
“This has the potential to be the biggest moment in Tennessee for professional sports ever,” said Nance, the newest WKRN Sports Intern.
Led by team captain Mike Fisher, the beloved Nashville Predators fought their way through many NHL powerhouses as an eight seed all the way to the Stanley Cup and are currently trailing two games to one, ready for a second home game in Nashville tonight.
Nance noted that multiple players have shared the spotlight this season, with Viktor Arvidsson being a model of consistency for the Preds. Drafted by the Preds in the fourth round of the NHL draft in 2014, Ardvidsson was expected fit in the rotation as more of a complimentary piece but has quickly proven otherwise. With 16 even-strength points and the most shorthand points in the NHL, Arvidsson’s aid has demonstrated to be instrumental.
“I knew that big things were happening in the franchise with the addition of P.K and the way Coach Laviolette has rebuilt this team,” Nance said. “He has instilled an offensive mindset into the team from top to bottom, so everyone on the team can score. I knew the Preds had the pieces to the puzzle, but I had no idea the Preds would work their way from wild card to Stanley Cup finalist.”
Nance stated a woman in a predominantly male environment hasn’t been easy. But dealing with double standards and bosses saying that “she’s in the business just to get on camera” doesn’t stop her from proving people wrong.
“People assume that girls don’t know anything about sports, and they just want to be around athletes,” Nance said. “You have to work extra hard to prove yourself and do your research. A lot of guys are going to disagree with your opinion solely because you are a girl, but if you back it up with stats then it really doesn’t matter.”
Although being a woman in sports can be challenging, Nance believes it’s worth it. Seeing what the Preds are like on and off the ice is one of the many perks of Nance’s job.
The Lipscomb senior explained that the atmosphere is the same in the stadium as it is in the locker room — the team radiates confidence win or lose.
“They [the fans] never give up on the Preds,” Nance said. “They stay to the last second of every game and cheer their hearts out. It is easy to stand behind a team when they fight as hard as the Preds do.”
One of the Preds’ biggest wins of the season was the last game of the Anaheim series where the Preds lost one of their best players, Ryan Johansen, due to injury, forcing the team to put more inexperienced players on the ice. However, the team quickly formed together and rallied, winning the game.
The fortitude shown in the 2017 playoffs has been typical for the Nashville Predators throughout this entire year, and trickles all the way down from the team to the city; Nashville is proud of their Preds.
“Everyone has something in common now — they all love the Preds,” Nance said. “Most people in the city are at least familiar with the success of the hockey team at this point, and it is so fun to see the fan base growing. It’s also cool that the Preds are bringing hockey to the south.”