It’s not over ‘til it’s over. Just ask Nashville Predators forward Colin Wilson.
“You have to realize that the sun came up today,” he said on Saturday morning after losing Game 5, 6-0, and going down 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. “We’re playing hockey in June. Life is good.”
Nashville will try to hold serve on Sunday night in order to force a Game 7 on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
The home team has won every game this series, something that hasn’t happened since 2011 when the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks used their respective home crowds to win every game until finally Boston won Game 7 in Vancouver to hoist their first Stanley Cup in 39 years and deny the Canucks their first Cup ever.
The Predators are hoping for a carbon copy of that storyline but first things first.
“It’s a must-win obviously,” defenseman Matt Irwin said about tonight. “We like the way we’ve played for the most part in this series. We’re going to take all of those positives and transfer them into Game 6, use the energy in the building and move forward.”
The Stanley Cup will be in the building Sunday but not for the reason Preds fans had hoped. If the Penguins win Game 6 tonight, Commissioner Gary Bettman will take his position out on the ice after the game and hand the Cup to Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby for the third time in nine years.
“We want to keep it in the box,” Predators forward James Neal said.
If you’re a Preds fan looking for positives after the lopsided affair in Pittsburgh this past Thursday, you don’t have to look far. Again, the home team has won every game this series, Nashville is 9-1 on Bridgestone ice in these playoffs, the team that has lost Game 5 after a Final series was at 2-2 has recovered to win the Cup four of the last eight times and, finally, all three teams that got blown out by six goals or more this post-season won the next game.
If you’re looking for negatives, all four of Pittsburgh’s Stanley Cups have been won on the road. They could make it five tonight.
But we’ll just ignore that last one.