Going into Tuesday night’s tilt with the Boston Bruins, Nashville Predators hockey just wasn’t important after the horrific mass shooting at Covenant School that claimed seven lives.
I’m going to attempt to recap what was under normal circumstances a huge upset win for the Nashville Predators to keep their playoff hopes alive, and while the win is huge for the standings, it’s so much bigger for a community that needs healing and is mourning an unfathomable tragedy.
Before the opening puck drop at TD Garden, home of the Boston Bruins, held a moment of silence and players from both teams wore helmet decals honoring the victims:
When something of this magnitude occurs, and hits so close to home, it’s impossible to focus on trivial things like a hockey game, but the players suited up and gave the fans a hard-fought game to remember.
Ryan McDonagh told Predators team beat reporter Emma Lingan that “it wasn’t just another game” and talked about the team’s focus heading into this game for reasons much larger than just being the underdog on the ice:
“We felt like we needed to go out and try to do our job the best we could and sacrifice and leave it all out there and just try to maybe bring a little bit of inspiration to the city of Nashville”-Ryan McDonagh on the win over the Bruins
McDonagh actually missed the team flight as his daughter’s school nearby to the Convenant School shooting was on lockdown. He stayed behind with his family before taking a commercial flight up to Boston the following day.
On McDonagh’s commercial flight, he met a Predators fan named Caleb who was flying up to Boston to celebrate his 17th birthday. Head Coach John Hynes and McDonagh brought Caleb to the locker room for pregame and gave him the honor to read the starting lineup.
Surrounded by so much sadness and sorrow, seeing this awesome gesture from McDonagh and the team was something we all needed. Great work by everyone involved to get Caleb into a moment he’ll never forget.
How the Preds-Bruins Unfolded
The Predators managed to keep the Bruins off the board despite there being some close calls for Boston to strike first, including a shorthanded chance when it appeared that Juuse Saros was beat by Brandon Carlo, but Luke Evangelista with not a split second to spare hit deflected the puck from crossing the red line:
The Predators penalty kill came up clutch again, as has been more of the norm going down the stretch run of the season. They held Boston to 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
Cody Glass would eventually get the Predators on the board by scoring his 12th goal of the season, an extending his career high in points for a season by hitting the 30-point mark. His previous high was 12 during his rookie season with the Vegas Golden Knights.
Boston is chasing NHL history for points and wins in a season, while the Nashville Predators continue to cling onto their postseason hopes by a thread. They moved to three points back of the Winnipeg Jets, who lost to the San Jose Sharks later in the night.
The Predators travel to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins next and have nine games remaining.
Here’s how you can help the victims and their families regarding the Nashville shooting at Covenant School: