Nashville Predators @ San Jose Sharks Preview: California Lovin'

The Nashville Predators wrap up this weeks road trip with a visit to San Jose tonight.

The Predators visit the Sharks for the first time this season in what is expected to be a fast paced, high scoring affair.

The San Jose Sharks

This team is a tough one to get an idea of. They definitely are not your typical Sharks team. The traditional, let's dominate the regular season and get a high seed for the playoffs, doesn't seem to be there this season (as of yet that is anyway). San Jose has been streaky as of late. They have won six of their last seven games, but before that, lost four in a row. Their streaky play shows in the stats sheet as well. They are pretty much in the middle of the pack of most of the team statistical categories (not including fancy stats here, guys). They went through some off season leadership changes this year. They stripped Joe Thornton of the captaincy and, as of right now, are using a no captain method.

The change seems to have sparked a a fire under the old vets. They lead the team in scoring this season, and have been an integral part of the team's success. Along with Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski have been playing great this year. These three have a combined seventy seven points for the team. Just when you think this team would finally give out, the keep showing us that they have something left in the tank. Once the sharks get Hertl going like he played last year, they will make a strong push for the playoffs.

If the Sharks want to have some success against the Preds tonight, they are going to have to put consistent pressure on them from the get go. If they come out firing, and score early and quick, it could rattle the Preds. San Jose has to be aggressive on all fronts in order to have some success tonight.

The Nashville Predators

The Predators are back to their winning ways. Not that this is a surprise or anything, considering they have yet to lose two games in a row this season. Peter Laviolette has these guys clicking on all cylinders right now. They finally got the power play goal they have been longing for (who can remember the last time they scored one before Thursday night). (Ed. note: It was Nov. 20th against the Senators. Woof.) And how can we forget that all the great offensive play is being backed by a dominating season by Pekka Rinne. He has been unreal this season. He leads the league in wins, and is second in GAA and SV% (only because Michael Hutchinson has played far fewer games than Rinne).

I mentioned at the beginning that I expect this game to be a fast paced, high-scoring affair. I say high-scoring just because that is what all hockey fans love to see, right? In all reality, as long as Rinne is in the net, we shouldn't expect him to give up more than three goals. I am also expecting that the power play goal from the other night will give the Preds some much needed confidence on the man advantage. Mike Fisher just might be the answer to their woes. He had the PP goal and assisted on the next goal (which was just after the power play was done). This group of guys are continuing to build more and more chemistry as the season goes on, and I wouldn't be surprised if they continued their win streak tonight.

In order to do that though, the Preds, just like the Sharks, will need to have a fast start. If they can take the crowd out of the game early and take it to San Jose, they can walk away with two points tonight.

Reasons To Watch

  • Colin Wilson and his much improved game this year, and the last few games especially.
  • #PrinceFilip #Cal9er #Scoresberg
  • Personally, I hate the Sharks, so any chance I get to see them potentially lose, I'll take it.

Drink Of Choice For Game Time

Let's bring some west coast flavor to this one tonight. If you can get your hand on Pacific Coast Brewing Blue Whale Ale, I would hight recommend it. I have had some of their other beers before, and you really can't go too wrong with any of them.

Sights And Sounds

The game can be seen on FS-TN locally, and you can listen to it on 102.5 The Game. Puck drops at 9:30 pm CST.