Game Preview: Preds jump into Shark Tank; Detroit in view
Tonight will be the 4th & final regular season matchup between Nashville & San Jose with the Predators holding a 2-1 lead most recently defeating the Sharks 6-2 on 2/25. The Preds also won earlier this season (11/5) in San Jose 4-3 in OT as David Legwand scored the sudden decision marker. The Sharks are hanging around the cut line for the Western Conference Playoffs, but have gone 2-5-3 in their last 10 games.
The current 7 game home stand will give San Jose a chance to make the playoffs especially since they have 13 games remaining (2 games in hand over much of the competition). The Preds have a great opportunity to catch up in the standings with idle Detroit who after faltering in regulation in Anaheim last night, sit only 2 points ahead in the 4th slot of the west with 11 GR.
The Preds should have fresh legs as the team had a day off before travelling to SJ. It will be most interesting to see how the “new size” will help defend against Jumbo Joe & a Sharks team that has been able to impose its physical nature on the Preds for the past several years. This should be a good one & I expect the Preds to win going away. This game is too important psychologically, and the Preds must take advantage while Detroit is losing. Do what you have to do; it’s going to be a late night!
D Kevin Klein has missed the last 6 games & is questionable for the tonight @ San Jose due to an upper body injury. D Roman Josi is recovering from an Upper Body Injury & could join the team this weekend in LA or Ana.
The bottom line…
-The Nashville Predators are 41-21-7 (89 Pts) with 13 games remaining and sit 3rd in The Central Division, 9 Pts behind St Louis (11 GR) & 2 Pts behind Detroit (11 GR).
-In the Western Conference The Predators are in 5th, 2 Pts behind Detroit (11 GR) with the chase pack: 6 Chicago (84 PTS 11 GR), 7 Phoenix (81 Pts 11 GR), 8 Colorado (80 Pts 10 GR) & 9 SJ (78 13 GR).
-The Predators continue a 4 game West Coast road trip: Tonight @ San Jose 9:30 CT, Sat @ LA 9:30 CT, Sun @ Anaheim 7 CT.
-F Patric Hornqvist & Mike Fisher lead the team in Goals with 21.
-F Martin Erat leads the team in Assists with 35 & Points with 52 (5 pts short of tying career high).
-F Jordin Tootoo leads the team with 85 PiM’s, D Shea Weber leads team in Hits with 152.