The Nashville Predators were eliminated by the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night at Bridgestone Arena. Vancouver was simply the better team in this series, and they have now moved on to the Western Conference Final. They'll await the winner of the Detroit/San Jose series.
Nashville made huge strides this year as a hockey team, and as a hockey town. During these playoffs, the hockey world has started to discover the passion that this city has for the game of hockey. It's only going to grow from here.
This type of playoff run has generated interest from people who would not normally follow the Preds. Revenue from the playoff games is going to be a huge plus for the organization. The local mainstream media is paying more attention to the Predators than ever before. There's many things that are extremely positive from this year.
Added to that, is the fact that it's only just beginning. There's no reason to expect anything less from the Predators in years to come. Nashville is a very young team, and it's a team that's only going to get better. Due to injuries, several young players like Blake Geoffrion and Jon Blum got playing time this year. There is no question that both of them are NHL ready right now. The very same can be said about Matt Halischuk.
As the Preds head into the off-season, they have to be proud of the run they put together this season. But, they also have to be hungry to go deeper into the playoffs and to eventually lift the Stanley Cup. That's now a realistic expectation in the years to come.