By Amanda DiPaolo
On Saturday night, newest Predator Mike Fisher was welcomed to Smashville by experiencing the tv timeout standing ovation. Fisher says he had no idea what was happening once it started. “No. I heard the standing ovation but I missed part of it,” Fisher said with a huge smile, “It was very loud. I hadn’t felt like that in a while, that’s for sure.”
It’s a tradition that started in Smashville on April 3rd, 2008 when the Nashville Predators defeated the St. Louis Blues in game 81 of the season, guaranteeing a playoff spot if Edmonton lost that night to Vancouver (they did).
Both exciting and emotional, the deafening sound in the Arena when every fan in attendance stands and continuously cheers on the home team for the entire timeout is simply hard to put into words.
Watch for yourself (from unofficialpred):
This season the Predators have received three such ovations and the result has been the same in each instance: a Nashville victory.
The first standing ovation was when the Chicago Blackhawks held a 2-1 lead in the third period of a game on January 13th. Just as play resumed, the cheers yet to come to an end, Shea Weber scored to tie the game and the crowd’s eruption was of epic proportions. Nashville went on to win the game in a shootout by a 3-2 score.
After killing off a 5-on-3 disadvantage, and after being penalized again, the second standing ovation came when Sergei Kostitsyn scored shorthanded against Detroit to give Nashville a 2-0 lead on February 5th. The Predators went on to win the game with a 3-0 shutout victory over the Red Wings.
Finally, on Saturday night the Predators played host to the Colorado Avalanche. The game was tied. There was no commanding lead or heroic comeback. The Predators weren’t down a goal and thus were not in need of motivation to find the equalizer.
The tv timeouts are a unique way of showing support for the team and the moment is not lost on those at ice level.
Predators defenseman Cody Franson says the standing ovations have an effect on the players themselves. “It’s unbelievable. When they get going like that, they yell the whole timeout. It raises the spirits on the bench, it gets everybody jumping a little bit. We have a ton of fun playing in front of our fans.”
After the win on Saturday, forward Patric Hornqvist says the win belongs to those in the soldout Bridgestone Arena who were there showing their support.
“All the credit goes to the fans tonight,” Hornqvist said, “We went down I think three times tonight, but they bounced us back right into it. They never stop yelling and cheering for us. It’s always a nice feeling coming into Bridgestone Arena and seeing all our fans.”
The standing ovation on Saturday could have been prompted by Nashville falling behind but finding the resiliency to tie things up. Maybe it was prompted by the excitment of Fisher’s debut in a Predators uniform.
Whatever prompted fans to stand up and cheer and continue to do so until the game resumed, the results were the same. Cody Franson scored the game winning goal with under three minutes left to play in regulation to give Nasville the 4-3 lead.
Three tv timeout standing ovations, three wins for the Nashville Predators.
Tonight, Nashville hosts the San Jose Sharks. In the season series, Nashville has beaten the Sharks both times the teams have met. Tickets are still available and game time is 7 pm.
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