If you've ever found yourself singing an Andy Williams holiday tune in April, it might be my fault.
The phrase "It's the most wonderful time of the year," often gets tossed around right about now amongst hockey fans with the arrival of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I know I've done it.
But it's not just those of us who have a healthy obsession with the game who feel this way. The players do, too.
When Pekka Rinne was posed with the question of what this juncture of the season means to him, the 36-year-old's face lit up like the toothy grin of a small child on Christmas morning.
"It's absolutely the best time of the year," the goaltender stated jubilantly.
OK, so he shorted "most wonderful" to "best," but he's an efficient person, especially when it comes to stopping pucks with relative ease.
Ask any who occupy a stall in the Nashville locker room, and they'll tell you the same thing - this is what every hockey player dreams of, the chance to compete for the Stanley Cup.
Those positive sentiments don't just reverberate in Music City, either. They can be heard in 16 cities across the continent, each club who has earned their berth believing they have what it takes to be the ones hoisting the trophy when it's all over.
Unfortunately for the other 15, what starts as immeasurable amounts of hope and confidence, will eventually turn to sorrow, lamenting what was and what could have been.
Songs like Coldplay's "Fix You" become applicable as Chris Martin sings: "The tears come streaming down your face when you lose something you can't replace."
Rock band The Killers have an anthem entitled Battle Born with lead singer Brandon Flowers convincingly stating, "The season may pass, but the dream doesn't die."
The sting eventually wears off, but the odds that a team will have to feel that pain are far greater than not.
But just when you think everything has been lost, this is where the bridge begins to build into that final chorus. The key changes, and the belief is back.
The Predators will lose a game at some point during this journey. There will be bad bounces and unfortunate mistakes along the way, but then, someone rises to the occasion again.
As David Bowie emphatically declares, "We can be heroes, just for one day." It's that hope, that passion, that belief that this is the year it will happen.
The unmistakable, raspy coo of The Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan when he pleads "Believe in me, 'cause I believe in you," is exactly how each and every member of the Predators feels when their eyes glance around the room from teammate to teammate.
Could this be the spring when a trophy will ride down Broadway, the aura and shimmer great enough to cause the twang of the steel guitars from the honky tonks to pause for just for a moment?
Imagine the Gold confetti strewn across the bright blue Nashville sky, the chants of "Let's Go Preds" taking over instead.
I like it, I love it, and I want some more of it.
So, when Rihanna asks the question "Who's gonna run this town tonight?" to 17,000-plus inside Bridgestone Arena prior to Game 1, the answer will be in the hands of 20 men beginning what could be the journey of a lifetime.
If all goes well, perhaps you'll be strolling around town singing Queen's "We Are The Champions" sometime in mid-June.