The Sharks were good, and the Preds were bad. It's that simple.
A massive congratulations is in order for our beloved Nashville Predators however as they out Corsi'd the San Jose Sharks in all situations, 60-54. Hooray.
The Sharks out shot the Predators 27-20 though in all situations, out chanced them 28-18, had 15 high-danger scoring chances compared to Nashville's nine and they also managed to score five goals while the Predators weren't as lucky in that category.
The scoring began when Viktor Arvidsson flipped the puck out of play to give the Sharks the first man advantage of the contest. Joe Pavelski capitalized for his ninth goal of the post season thanks to Patrick Marleau finding him in the slot.
Joel Ward then scored against his ex-team, again, to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead. Ward sprung free after Roman Josi managed to make one of the worst plays of his NHL career in not getting a stick on the puck at the blue line and letting Ward around him. Ward managed a shot fake that froze Pekka Rinne then slid the puck between his legs.
(Full Highlight *viewer discretion advised*)
The first period ended with the Sharks out shooting the Predators 17-3. Yes, the difference between those two numbers is 14. San Jose managed 16 scoring chances in the opening frame while Nashville produced five. That's how the first period went.
While the Predators were still in the game with 40 minutes remaining as the second stanza began, the Sharks wiped away that hope in just 36 seconds as Shea Weber made one of the worst plays of his career handing the puck to Logan Couture and letting him give the Sharks a 3-0 advantage.
(Full Highlight *again, viewer discretion is advised*)
Logan Couture. Sharks lead the Preds 3-0: pic.twitter.com/wPB9uwMCSb— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) May 13, 2016
The Couture goal was the only tally in the middle frame while the Preds were able to match the Sharks' push in putting five shots on net while the Sharks managed six. San Jose did however record nine scoring chances while Nashville had just seven in the second period.
This also happened in the final minute of the middle frame. No penalties were called.
Alrighty then…. pic.twitter.com/SOLhKsfB4y— Mark Harris (@MCHisTweeting) May 13, 2016
The Sharks decided that scoring 36 seconds into the second period wasn't quick enough so they challenged themselves to score faster to start the third. Mission accomplished as Joe Thornton scored just 32 seconds into the final frame to push the Sharks lead to 4-0. The goal came via the power play after Mattias Ekholm was called for cross checking after the final whistle of the second period.
The Preds decided to give the Sharks a 4-on-1 chance to begin the frame. Rinne made the initial stop but Thornton was there to bury the loose puck.
Just over three minutes later the final goal of the contest was scored by Marleau on a 2-on-1 rush that was executed beautifully by Couture and the veteran to give the Sharks a 5-0 lead.
And that is it, the 2015-16 Predators' season is finished.
Was it how the Predators and their fans wanted to go out? Of course not, not in that fashion and not without hoisting the Stanley Cup. It's tough, really tough. The Predators were embarrassed during the biggest game in franchise history and that is a mighty pill to swallow and it will take time for, I'm sure both them and the fans, to get over.
With that being said, the Predators were also closer than they've ever been to the Western Conference Finals and a Stanley Cup. Sure, it may seem petty to say, but this is still a young team both literally and figuratively. Yes, Rinne is getting older as is Weber, but many important pieces of this team still have many great years ahead of them.
The pipeline is nearly full, the Preds have a legitimate no. 1 center, the blue line is still one of the top five in the NHL and the forward group as a whole is a legitimate threat both now and with any additions/subtractions they make this off season.
However, yes, of course, you have every right to be angry and even embarrassed all day today. But hey, things could've been worse, no questions asked.
Send your love to Rinne.
Pekka Rinne: "You see yourself getting older and you realize how important these chances are... This felt like our year." #Preds— Thomas Willis (@TomAWillis) May 13, 2016