Nashville Predators forward Harry Zolnierczyk kept his own blog throughout the Stanley Cup Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins, checking in regularly with behind-the-scenes access.
Zolnierczyk, 29, was in his first season with the Predators. He split the season between Nashville and Milwaukee of the American Hockey League. In 24 regular-season NHL games, he had two goals and two assists. He played in 11 games in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs and has a goal and two assists. He broke into the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2011-12 and has played for the Penguins, New York Islanders and Anaheim Ducks.
In his Sunday entry, Zolnierczyk discusses watching Game 6 and the disappointment of losing 2-0 to Pittsburgh, ending Nashville's dream of forcing Game 7 and possibly winning the Stanley Cup.
Right now, there's not a lot to say. It was just a tough way to lose.
We obviously have a lot of things to be proud of, and we did a lot of great things to get to this point. But it's still a tough pill to swallow.
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I thought we played a good, hard game tonight. We had opportunities. It's unfortunate that our best opportunity, the Colton Sissons goal, was called back. Obviously, that changed a lot of the way the game was played. We created other opportunities later, but it just wasn't meant to be.
It hurts a lot, but even now, I realize how remarkable this all was. This team is one of the greatest groups I have been a part of. That room was just special; you could feel there was something different.
There is so much more that goes on inside our locker room that the outside world will never know about: just what it takes to get to this point. That's what makes it so meaningful for us. We know how much everybody has invested in this run and how much everybody has sacrificed and how much the injuries have mounted up.
In a run this long, you see what you're really made of. You see guys change roles out of necessity; you see guys step up; you see guys play through incredible pain. This is a special group.
Watching the Penguins celebrate with the Stanley Cup was tough. It reinforced how close we were and that the difference between winning and losing is so small. Tonight, we were on the wrong side of it. It just wasn't the ending we were looking for.