Nashville Predators @ San Jose Sharks: Chum in the Water

With their ticket to the playoffs stamped, the Sharks are in warm up mode for what they hope will be a long run.

Well that was some fun last night. It seemed in al the games against the Ducks this season, the Predators have been the better team. Yet, there were one or two brain farts that led to a quick goal against, and Anaheim was on top in the blink of an eye. It was good to see that not only did the Preds jump them early, but they were able to hold off a very potent offense.

Tonight, Nashville hops from one tough California team to another to take on San Jose.

The Stats

Nashville Predators San Jose Sharks
Record 33-32-11 23rd 48-20-9 4th
GF/Game 2.47 22nd 2.95 7th
GA/Game 2.91 22nd 2.35 4th
5-on-5 Close SF/60 29.4 14th 33.3 2nd
5-on-5 Close SA/60 26.8 4th 27.7 9th
Fenwick Close 50.80 13th 55.00 3rd
5-on-5 Close Save % .908 29th .924 18th
5-on-4 GF/60 6.1 15th 6.2 13th
# of PP's/Gm 2.95 29th 3.60 3rd
4-on-5 GA/60 7.2 26th 5.6 12th
# of PK's/Gm 2.93 4th 2.69 1st

The San Jose Sharks

I say it every time I watch the Sharks: I have the biggest hockey crush on Joe Pavelski. Dude does it all and is coming to the end of best season he's ever had. Both he and Joe Thornton have eclipsed the 70 point mark, and Patrick Marleau is within spitting distance of that feat as well.

With so many talented scorers, the superb goaltending of Antti Niemi they've amassed a whopping 105 points so far this year. They are also one of the best possession teams in the league, putting substance to the notion that they could do some serious damage in the postseason. Of course, they are perennially contenders yet have never gotten past the Conference Finals. Perhaps this is the year that will be different, or perhaps that sentiment will once again ring hollow. I'll say this, I don't envy whichever team has the misfortune of meeting up with them in the playoffs.

As luck would have it, the Sharks have an opportunity to leapfrog over the Ducks for the time being and take first in the Pacific. Anaheim still has a game in hand, though, and the Sharks have been playing merely OK, going 5-3-2 in their last 10.

The Nashville Predators

Congratulations to Mike Fisher who potted two goals last night to become the third 20-goal scorer for the Preds this year. Nashville hasn't had three players finish the season with 20 or more goals since 2009. (Jason Arnott (33), Shea Weber (23), and David Legwand (20). A year prior was the last time four players ended with as many goals, but this year it's now within the realm of possibility.

Patric Hornqvist scored his 18th goal last night. A few weeks ago I would have said it'd be a pipe dream for him to hit 20 for the fourth time in his career. However, his recent play has been back up to Super Swede levels, and it wouldn't surprise me to see him reach that feat. What say you? Does Horny end the season with 20 goals?

Tonight's game starts even later, just to mess with you. 9:30 p.m. CST again on Sports South. Whatever you did, wore, or said last night to get them a win, do it again tonight.