JOE BIDDLE: Preds make history

(Photo: WKRN)

Dance down Broadway. You yelled your lungs out, Preds fans.

Take a bow Pekka Rinne. Take a big bow, GM David Poile. It was a long journey. You proved nice guys don’t finish last.

The Predators were the 16th team in the final regular season standings.

How do you like them now?

They are going to the Stanley Cup Finals. Oh, yeah. How sweet it is. The Ducks went down, 6-3. Two of them were on empty netters.

Sorry, Titans. The Music City Miracle was top shelf. But the Titans were never the underdog the Predators were.

The Predators not only won the Western Conference title, but they punched their tickets to the Stanley Cup finals. They made so many people in this town fill the Bridgestone Arena every night.

They came. They bought in every night.

There were many heroes in Game 6. Colton Sissons put up a hat trick.

Rinne stopped 38 of 41 shots. He was under fire all night. He came through and led the way. The other Predators followed.

“We just believed in ourselves,’’ Sissons said as he celebrated with his teammates. “It feels great. We knew we had to step up. It feels good.’’

In a wild third period, the Ducks came out with fire in their eyes. The Ducks tied it at 3-all. The Preds went ahead, 4-3. At that point the Predators had scored four goals on only 16 shots.

It was over when they went up 5-3 at 2:22 on an empty netter by Filip Forsberg. They added another insurance goal on a second empty netter by Watson Austin at 1:34.

The Predators didn’t wait to get started, throwing down early. It wasn’t long until the home team took a 2-0 lead on a goal by Colton Sissons with an assist by Pontus Aberg. The Preds Viktor Arvidsson took a hard hit that sent Ducks Nick Richie not only to the penalty box on a 5-minute major, but Richie would not return after the penalty.

Strangely enough the Predators failed to launch a shot during the 5-minute penalty. While the Predators led 2-0, they saw the Ducks take a lead in shots attempts. None found the mark as Pekka Rinne was at his best.

He stopped 38 of 41 attempts. Just another night for the impeccable goalie.

It was way too soon for the Predators to ever get comfortable. The Ducks were putting pressure on the Preds all over the rink.

The Ducks were on a mission. They cut the Preds lead to 2-1. The Ducks kept coming but the Preds built a 3-1 lead in the third period on a goal by Pontus Aberg. It wouldn’t last.

The only Predator fan the Ducks didn’t clobber was Trisha Yearwood, who sang an outstanding National Anthem. It was 12-4 in hits in favor of the Ducks delivered in the opening period.

The Ducks cut the lead to 3-2 on a turnover that Chris Wagner took and put in the net. They tied it at 3-all as Rinne seemed to be interfered with by Corey Perry. But replays showed that wasn’t the case.

This team believed they could manufacture miracles. They have become a heartthrob to all hockey fans across the country.

This was a made for Hollywood movie.

Joe Biddle is a sports columnist. He is also a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Contact him at