Stop two on the latest road trip for the San Jose Sharks takes the team to Music City. San Jose will visit the Central Division leading Nashville Predators tonight. The last time these two teams played was back on November 1, when the Sharks beat the Preds 4-1. They have one more game in the season series, March 29 in Nashville.
San Jose enters tonight’s game second in the Pacific Division with a 33-19-8 record. Nashville, meanwhile, is first in the Central Division with a 36-14-9 record.
San Jose brings a three game win streak into Bridgestone Arena. The Sharks had a strong 3-2 win over a desperate St. Louis Blues team on Tuesday, enough to stay in the second spot in the Pacific.
The Predators have won their last two games, beating the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 on Tuesday. Viktor Arvidsson scored his 21st goal of the season in the game. Arvidsson has three goals in his last two games.
Will this be Eric Fehr’s debut in a Sharks uniform?
In case you missed it, the Sharks traded their seventh round pick in 2020 to the Toronto Maple Leafs for forward Eric Fehr. The veteran center played just four games, yes you read that right — four games, for the Leafs this season.
We won’t go into it again here, but Fehr could be more of a hindrance than he is a help for the Sharks. If you’re interested, you can read this write up on why San Jose may have been better off just keeping its seventh round pick.
Presumeably, Doug Wilson made the trade because he needs a depth center. We’ll find out tonight if Fehr slots into the line up over the likes of Danny O’Regan or Barclay Goodrow and what impact he’ll have for that line.
Will the streaks continue?
Mikkel Boedker has a four-game goal scoring streak on the line. Boedker has seven points in the last four games, including five goals. He’s the hottest Shark on the ice right now and hopefully he’ll stay that way. Boedker is getting power play time, which helps, but he’s also scoring in 5-on-5 play.
Meanwhile, Marc-Edouard Vlasic has a five game assist streak on the line.
Will it be Martin Jones or Aaron Dell in net?
This is the back-to-back portion of the road trip which means we should see Dell one night and Jones the other. Jones has let in two or fewer goals in the last five games. Meanwhile, Dell has not played since February 10, when he backstopped a wild 6-4 win over the Edmonton Oilers.
Playing armchair head coach, I want Jones to play tonight because I trust my number one to go head-to-head with the top team in the Central Division and come out on top. Plus, I know Dell is going to come out strong against the Chicago Blackhawks, a team that’s currently in the Central Division cellar.
Bold Prediction: This is going to be a low scoring game. Whether it’s Dell or Jones in net, he will be lights out. On the other end of the ice, count on Pekka Rinne to play just as well. I see a lots of amazing saves and very few goals in our immediate future.
We’ll have the starting line ups and an open game thread an hour before puck drop. In the meantime, drop your own bold prediction below!