Tonight the Sharks come in to Nashville, TN and play against the Nashville Predators in game 57 for the Preds.
Looking at the Sharks: Oh, where to begin? This team has been the one team that you just can’t put your finger on if they are going to end up in the playoffs or out, dropping their last two (1 against New Jersey and and a nasty loss against the Panthers on Sunday night) after winning 9 of their previous 10 before that…and then dropping 4 more before that! Such a crazy looking team this year, you can’t help but to ALWAYS take this team seriously. The Sharks have some major firepower on their team, including the usuals of Thorton/Setoguchi /Marleau/Heatley, but now they have an unreal rookie by the name of Logan Couture. This 21 year old is the real deal. With 36 points already this year (24g/12a), he trails only Jeff Skinner with points from a rookie skater.
Looking at the Preds: The Predators are coming off a pair of wins, one against the Detroit Red Wings and a sneaky win against the Colorado Avalanche, where, for all intents and purposes, that game SHOULD have ended up 5-1, but a couple of easy goals gave the Avs that closer score of 5-3. Mike Fisher, the newest acquisition to the team, played a pretty good game centering Erat/Kostitsyn, putting up 0g-1a and a +2 rating (screening out Budaj for the first goal, assisting Legwand on the EN). Overall, The Fish looks to be, as mentioned by Chris Burton (@predatweeter) on Twitter, less of a David Legwand and more of a Ryan Kesler. The man uses his body to do exactly what he wants to do on the ice, so if he wants the puck, you better give him the puck. Even though he is only 1 game in as a Predator, he looks as though he’s been THE missing Nashville Predator for 10 years
For the Avs to win: Dominate early and outskate the Preds. This Sharks team has the undeniable ability to score quick and score often if you allow them too. If they come in, don’t take a shift off, and dominate on the special teams (if give the opportunity), then Nashville will have their hands full. There is WAY too much talent to just ignore and it’s going to take every bit of it to come out of Nashville with 2 points. The Predators know very well what they are up with when it comes to the Sharks. You’ll be able to tell real quick how this team is going to play when it comes to their streaky goaltender Niemi. Watch his performance as to how this team will hold up
For the Preds to win: The Predators HAVE to not sit back and let the Sharks do what they want, which a lot of teams fail to forget the Sharks have the ability of. The Predators need to come out the same way they did in the past 3 games: HARD, FAST, STRONG (not quoting Kanye West here). Pour on the shots, bang on the boards, drive to the net, and STAY OUT OF THE BOX. Follow those 4 rules, and it’s only 2 points I foresee in the future for this team. Pekka Rinne needs to get back in form tonight. 2 out of the past 3 games, he’s at least allowed 3 goals. This can’t happen for the Predators OR Pekka, as he is one of the reasons we do so well in the first place. Quick goals against the Predators usually mean a quick death. Watch for Pekka to have a pretty solid game tonight, in my opinion.
Prediction: The Predators have to keep the Win Train going and pick up that 3rd win in a row and keep pace with the Detroit Red Wings. I think this game is going to be a LOT like the last home game we had against the Sharks. Real close, we may give up the lead, but we’ll come back and win it. The Predators are going to edge out the Sharks and grab an empty netter at the end of the game, winning it 4-2
Thanks for reading!