Nashville Predators: Things We Miss Most During NHL Pause

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 3: Matt Duchene #95 of the Nashville Predators raises his stick to the fans after a 5-2 win against the Minnesota Wild at Bridgestone Arena on October 3, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 3: Matt Duchene #95 of the Nashville Predators raises his stick to the fans after a 5-2 win against the Minnesota Wild at Bridgestone Arena on October 3, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images) /

In March, the NHL suspended the 2019-20 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While there are more important things going on in the world, we still miss hockey.

During these trying times, we are all looking for some sense of normalcy in our lives. Most of us would give our last roll of toilet paper to see the Nashville Predators retake the ice.

Until that time comes, we can look at all of the things that we miss about the team and what we will have to look forward to when the NHL season resumes.


It goes without saying how much we all love Pekka Rinne. I’m not sure what planets were aligned when he was born, but I challenge you to find a more excellent human being than Rinne.

Fans are all very much aware that Rinne’s time between the pipes is winding down. The season pause has possibly robbed us of some games featuring our favorite goaltender.

Rinne has the rest of this season and next left on his contract. While we don’t have a crystal ball, we can kind of see the writing on the wall.

With Juuse Saros’ gameplay surging before the pause, Rinne moved into more of a backup goaltender position. That may carry over into next season as well as it’s inevitable.

One of the things that I look forward to when the Predators take the ice next is seeing that massive smile on Rinne’s face. We need to cherish the times that we have left watching Pekka Rinne lace up the skates for the Predators.

Bridgestone Arena

I will never forget my first hockey game. Pulling that Rinne home jersey on and walking to the arena was very exciting. While waiting to get through the doors into Bridgestone Arena, I was even fortunate enough to have my picture taken with Terry Crisp and Pete Weber.

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There’s something about a Nashville Predators home game that is unlike anything else. There is electricity in the entire building before, during and after the game. It’s like a massive party with 18,000 of your closest friends.

There is nothing like walking into the arena, seeing that rink, and feeling the cool breeze on your face. We’re very fortunate to have a top-notch facility to host the Nashville Predators.

It is hard to imagine what it is going to be like at that first home game when the boys can come back and play again. The sea of gold (and Winter Classic) jerseys, hearing the fans tell the visiting goalie how much he “sucks,” and watching the team raise their sticks in honor of the fans is something to which we can all look forward.

Our Broadcast Crew

With no games airing, the Fox Sports broadcast crew has done an excellent job of engaging with the fans. During the week, we can always look forward to social media posts from Chris Mason, Willy Daunic, Lyndsay Rowley, Kara Hammer and, Terry Crisp.

We are even treated to posts by radio personalities Hal Gill, which are usually hilarious, and Pete Weber. If you are looking for a good laugh, watch the videos by Hal Gill, where he takes on the persona of  homeschool teacher “Mr. Gill.”

While this is a great distraction, we can all agree that we can’t wait to watch and listen to live games and hear the broadcast team’s voices. We are very fortunate to have such an eclectic and impressive group of personalities covering the Nashville Predators.

Our Friends and Family

Every NHL team has a rabid fan base and their fair share of outstanding and loyal fans. While Nashville has that, there is something that is a little different.

It’s almost impossible to believe that we even have a hockey team in the region at all. Living in a section of the United States that’s dominated by college basketball and football, we’re very fortunate that hockey came to the South in 1998 and stayed.

The Nashville Predators are one of the biggest “small market” teams in the NHL. If you were to ask Predators fans, they would take offense at being called a “small market” team.

Predators fans are a close-knit group. When watching televised games, you can always count on back and forth Tweeting with other fans. During live games at Bridgestone, a high-five or a slap on the back when the goal horn sounds is almost always guaranteed.

I’ve made some new friends since becoming a Predators fan. It will be nice to be able to spend time with them once games resume.

Nashville Predators, Our Team

Before the season pause, it was an exciting yet nerve-wracking time to be a Predators fan. We were all scoreboard watching every day to make sure that the Predators were still in one of the wildcard spots.

The team was definitely on the upswing after hiring new head coach John Hynes. Roman Josi was in the running for the Norris trophy, Mikael Granlund was surging and, Juuse Saros was becoming the “heir apparent” goalie.

After an up-and-down season, it was good to see the team beginning to gel and play up to their potential. Even when the Predators don’t play as well as we want, we still love the guys and back them no matter what.

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We all look to a time when this pandemic ordeal has concluded, and our lives can return to some form of ordinary. From a sports perspective, we all look forward to the time when we can watch our beloved team take the ice and play the beautiful game.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.