On Thursday March 12th. the Sharks will host the Nashville Predators and your pal Ian is going to be Breaking It Down! This is your preview where I hope to give you some insight and opinions on not only our Sharks but their opponent of the night.
Know Your Team - The San Jose Sharks
Current Record (W-L-OTL): 33-26-8, 74 Points and 5th in the Pacific Division
Last 10 Games: 4-6-0
Power Play: 21.5% (5th.)
Penalty Kill: 79.9% (23rd.)
Current Streak: Won 1
Notes: SportsClubStats.com has our current chance to make the playoffs at 17.7%
Know Your Enemy - The Nashville Predators
Current Record: (W-L-OTL): 42-19-7, 91 Points and 1st in the Central Division
Last 10 Games: 3-6-1
Power Play: 16.1% (26th.)
Penalty Kill: 81.6% (16th.)
Current Streak: Won 1
Notes: Nashville has lost 6 of their last 7.
Ian Breaks Down The Predators: The Predators have had a tough go as of late dropping 6 in a row before finally beating the lowly Arizona Coyotes in overtime. Is this the point where they turn it around or does the skid continue, that's the question the Sharks find themselves asking. Despite the recent woes of this team the Sharks can't take anything for granted in this one as they were soundly beaten by the Predators back in February. It would basically be impossible for the Predators to fall out of contention at this rate but that does not mean that they want to throw to many more games away and back into the playoffs. Expect them to come out hard trying to get to Niemi early. Starting in goal tonight is of course stone cold shark killer Pekka Rinne who sports a 8-4-4 record with a 1.88 GAA and unbelievable 9.45 SV% against the Sharks over his career.
Ian Breaks Down The Sharks: The Sharks returned to the win column against a very good Pittsburgh team on the back of another solid effort by Antti Niemi is this enough to see him in teal next year? I'm not holding my breath. Due to a lack of help on the out of town scoreboard The Sharks (17.7%) have failed to really make up any ground on the outside looking in Kings (66.6%) while trying to catch Calgary (86.7%) for the final divisional playoff spot. The final wild card seed is starting to look obtainable as the Jets (46.4%) are having a tough go of late. Matt Irwin is out tonight and as of this writing nothing points to Fedun drawing into the lineup, expect to see the same lineup and defensive pairs as the last few games. In their last meeting against the Predators the Sharks best players were anything but, however I expect a better game from team teal tonight as all games are basically a must win. Antti Niemi will get the call in goal tonight and will need to be on his game because Nashville has allowed the 5th fewest goals in the league so the Sharks can't expect to score themselves out of problems. Niemi has a mediocre 7-6-3 record with a 2.13 GAA and a .918 SV% vs the Predators in his career. Finally the PK was really good in the game against the Penguins but the power play was dreadful the Sharks need to try and take advantage of the Predators 16th. ranked penalty kill if given the opportunity to do so and that means actually getting shots on goal.
My Prediction: Sharks win a tight scoring game to keep the playoff hopes alive.
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What are your thoughts on this upcoming game?