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Sharks Gameday: Playoff Possibility Week Continues

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5:00 PST
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48-14-11, 107 points 35-30-8, 78 points
1st in Pacific Division 4th in Central Division
Previous Tilts
November 11th
November 17th
March 19th
Radio
98.5 KFOX, Sjsharks.com
Antagonists
On The Forecheck

Fresh off an exciting tilt against the Hawks' last night, San Jose attempts to get back on the two point side of things tonight in Nashville. The Preds have played the Sharks well this season, and coming off a very fast paced game, it stands to say that the Sharks could feel it in their legs during the last twenty minutes of the tilt. Nashville is a team that, while not scary by any means, does have a few aspects of their game that cause trouble for San Jose.

Boasting a very quick crop of forwards, the Predators are a very solid team in transition. Although their back end lacks a premier puck mover who can skate with the likes of a Dan Boyle or Christian Ehrhoff, they are good at making a quick outlet pass to feed the front three's movement up the ice. Another thing Nashville loves to do is stretch the defense of San Jose by sending a forward near the blue line once they gain possession of the puck in the defensive zone. This scheme by Barry Trotz will force a usually aggressive San Jose Sharks defensive core to pick their spots when pinching and jumping into the play.

If San Jose wants to compete tonight, it's absolutely essential that the defense doesn't get too aggressive in the offensive zone and leave themselves up to a counterattack. As mentioned earlier, an energetic game against Chicago the night before will be a big hurdle for the Sharks to overcome. As for the Preds "desperation for points" being a factor, it's fairly safe to say that the race for the one seed and a loss last night should put the Sharks on par with Nashville in that department. Fact is, if there's any question of a team's "desire to win" at this point in the year we all might as well figure out the best way to get a few hundred gallons of Kool-Aid, and set a nice summer day to meet up.

Since we're on an even strength binge this week, here's the numbers. Goals are even at six apiece, and the Sharks are outshooting the Preds 95-59. Thank Rinne and Ellis for the discrepancy in shooting percentage.

Prediction: Sharks win 2-1. Goals by Roenick and Ehrhoff. CTGray and Section223 have no idea what to do with themselves after the "Television" portion of the game preview is replaced. Nanny-nanny poo-poo!

 

Go Sharks.