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Sharks vs. Predators Preview: So, we meet again

San Jose hosts Nashville for the first time since meeting in the postseason.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Nashville Predators at San Jose Sharks Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Raise your hand if you predicted the Nashville Predators would be in last place in the Central Division when the Sharks faced them. Put your hand down, Marc Bergevin. I don’t even know how you got in here. Go home.

Now that he’s gone, let’s try and figure out what the hell is wrong with the Nashville Predators. First: They’ve been a terrible possession team this year. The only teams with worse possession numbers than the Predators are Vancouver and Ottawa — remember, those teams play in Canada which means they’re company you very much want to avoid.

Their PDO isn’t great, suggesting there is some bad luck involved, but it would be foolhardy to suggest the Predators have just been unlucky. They just haven’t been very good. Check out the following WOWY chart from This shows how the team plays with each player on and off the ice. It’s not pretty.

And while the Predators currently have the best power play percentage in the league, they also have the worst penalty kill rate. Goaltending has been okay (.9235 even strength) but the problem seems to lie in the team’s below average possession game. They’re not controlling enough of the puck and, surprise surprise, are losing a lot of their games.

They’re also 18th in faceoff percentage. Maybe that’s what it is.

Game 1
Saturday, Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m. PT
SAP Center, San Jose, California, USA
Get the Nashville perspective at On the Forecheck
How to Watch / Listen In San Jose
Free game on
Stats and Figures
5-3-0 Record 2-4-1
2nd in Pacific Standings 7th in Central
56.94% Even Strength, Score-Adj. Fenwick 45.83%
96.66 PDO 97.02
22.2 PP% 37.0
84.0 PK% 68.0