On April 9, 2013, the St. Louis Blues traveled to Nashville to take on the Predators in the teams’ final game as Central Division rivals. Of course, both of these teams will be members of Conference III next season, so the game carried less of the nostalgic import as the final games against Detroit or, to a lesser degree, Columbus.
To set it up: by this point, the Predators were all but eliminated from playoff contention in a year rife with injuries, frustratingly inept offense and Yakety Sax defense. The Blues had won four straight and were fighting to hold on to the Central’s No. 2 spot, the best they could do in a year with Chicago on a historic tear.
It was the teams’ fourth and final meeting of the year, St. Louis having won twice (once in a shootout). The third game was a result shocking not only in its outcome, but in its score — a 6-1 Predators win way back on February 5.
The biggest pre-game news was the promotion of Swedish forward Daniel Bång for Nashville and much time was spent — including on my pre-game segment with Predators’ flagship radio station 102.5 The Game — debating the pronunciation of his name. Is it “BANG” or is it “BONG”? Jokes, predictably, were made, a last grasp at levity in the Music City in a season devoid of much light-heartedness.
Eventually, the Blues would win 1-0. The win wasn’t surprising. Really, neither, was the scoreline. But the game itself was a special level of boring. It was a hockey game that led people to apologize to their friends. Parts of Nashville experienced a power surge as TVs across the city were turned off simultaneously.
What follows is the story of that game in the words of people who lived it, coached it and played it. Their words are italicized.
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