Earlier in the week, I shared the origin story of my latest and greatest passion – NHL hockey, specifically the Nashville Predators. The addiction began last season, but has grown dramatically over the course of the 2017-18 regular season. Jay and I didn’t make it to Bridgestone Area for a regular season game, despite my nagging. After almost a decade of marriage you’d think I’d learn that doesn’t work. Jay reasoned that we’d be better off saving our money for the post season, when we would undoubtably want to take in as many games as possible.

The man had a good point, so I backed off. Sure enough, we found ourselves once again calling on Jack Ryan to take us to Smashville. Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs has the Nashville Predators taking on the Colorado Avalanche.

Given their ranking as the #1 regular season team in the NHL, the Preds have home ice advantage as long as they remain in the playoffs. Each round will begin with 2 games in Nashville, followed by 2 games on the road, then returning to Bridgestone for any remaining games in the best of 7 series.

Round 1 started on Thursday night, the same night as my first ever Foothills Voices class. FV is the super awesome writing adventure I haven’t shared about yet but promise to do so in the near future. Game 2 of the first round would be played on Saturday, and Jay secured out tickets.

The day before was Friday the 13th – an occasion to celebrate at Camp Fradd because I met my darling Jason on a Friday the 13th. In an effort to be romantic, he looked for VRBOs and hotels in the Nashville area to make it a romantic weekend.

After seeing the prices, we once again decided to save our money for playoff tickets. The game started at 3PM our time, so we left home a little after 8AM. After the game, we hit I-40 and I was snug in my own bed before 11PM. Not the most ideal way to take in a game, but I’m hoping for a long post season and the need for more trips to the big city.

Jay has a good friend in the area (our original “dealer” last season who posted about the game tickets) who we met up with for an early pre-game lunch. We got to meet a few of her friends, then headed to the area for “puck-off.”

For each playoff game, the Predators invite a different celebrity to sing the national anthem, and they keep it secret until the artist walks out onto the ice. Jay and I have been at the games where Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood (wife of last year’s team captain), and Faith Hill (wife of the team’s score song singer – that makes no sense. See below.*) This time around, we got to sing along with Brad Paisley.

*After each Nashville goal, Bridgestone plays I Like It, I Love It by Tim McGraw.

Our seats were 5 rows off the ice, and just to the left of the Nashville penalty box – incredible!! My favorite player – P.K. Subban – most always gets a penalty called on him. I told Jay before the game how upset I would be if this was one of the few games he was on best behavior!

I did almost miss P.K.’s time in the box, but only because I was late getting back to my seat from intermission. When the puck is in play, ushers stop fans in the hallway. The puck has to be dead in order to walk back to your seat. I got a pic of him in the box, but not as good as the on the ice shot.

While I don’t remember the final score of the game, Nashville won – putting them up 2 games to zero. They are currently 3-1 in the series and hope to finish it out with a win tomorrow might. I hope to have another adventure to report for round 2 of the playoffs!