When Mike Fisher scored in the wee hours of May 5 to give his team a triple-overtime victory in Game Four against the San Jose Sharks, he not only ended the longest game in Nashville Predators history, but the contest subsequently took its place as one of the greatest - if not the greatest - game in the club’s 18-year run.
On Saturday, as Preds players said their farewells for the summer during locker room cleanout day at Bridgestone Arena, the game was mentioned by those who played in it as a moment of their careers they’ll never forget.
The result of skating for the equivalent of nearly two full games left a physical toll in the present, but the memory of the atmosphere in which it was done will last much longer.
“When we went to the third overtime, when we went out through the Lexus Lounge, I’d never seen fans going crazy like that; I guess they had to open up the bar again,” Fisher laughed. “But I’ve never seen it, and guys were like, ‘Holy cow, we’ve never seen fans go crazy like that.’”
Craig Smith, who has heard the building at its loudest over the past five seasons, agreed the decibel level, even after midnight, was deafening.
“Definitely that triple overtime,” Smith said when asked to name his top moment of the playoffs. “There were some great moments during playoffs, but I thought at times the building was as loud as I’ve ever heard it before. Fans were into it, they were engaged and they stuck around till the end. They made it a lot of fun to play in front of them.”
It all ended a few days later, much earlier than anyone had hoped, but the magic of Game Four, and the 2016 postseason run, will live on forever in Predators lore.
“The fans were so into it, and so many people around the city were behind us,” Fisher said. “To have this city behind you like that is really a special feeling.”