Sharks vs. Predators: Introducing top-six forward Bracken Kearns!

Injuries abound as the Sharks conclude their road trip with a stop in Nashville.

For all the consternation about the ways in which Steve Yzerman and the rest of the Team Canada brass would screw up their roster selection for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the end result isn't half-bad. You can read more about the team that Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (who, for my money, were the best Sharks forward and best Sharks defenseman of the first half so it's fitting they made the cut) here.

Meanwhile, there's still a month of hockey to be played before the Olympic break and the regular season and their three-game Central Division road trip continues for the Sharks this evening in Nashville. The Predators have won just two of ten games since defeating the Sharks in Music City on December 14th. They're 25th in the NHL in goals which is perhaps unsurprising given that they boast a forward corps that's been referred to as a killer bottom twelve.

Fortunately for Nashville, they may have just met their match given the Sharks' injury-decimated forward lineup. With Logan Couture's hand injury rendering him unavailable, San Jose is now missing six top-nine forwards. As you might expect, that's led to some line-juggling and, at least for tonight, means the Sharks feature a second line containing Patrick Marleau between Matt Nieto and Bracken Kearns. This should be interesting.

San Jose Sharks


Nashville Predators
27-10-6, 60 points
18-19-6, 42 points
2nd in Pacific 7th in Central

5PM PST | Bridgestone Arena | Nashville, Tennessee
TV: CSNCA-HD | Radio: 98.5 KFOX,
Know Your Enemy: On the Forecheck, III Communication

Projected Sharks Lineup

Joe Pavelski - Joe Thornton - Brent Burns
Matt Nieto - Patrick Marleau - Bracken Kearns
James Sheppard - Andrew Desjardins - Freddie Hamilton
Eriah Hayes - John McCarthy - Mike Brown

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Dan Boyle
Matt Irwin - Justin Braun
Brad Stuart - Jason Demers

Antti Niemi
Alex Stalock

Projected Predators Lineup

Colin Wilson - Mike Fisher - Patric Hornqvist
Nick Spaling - David Legwand - Craig Smith
Gabriel Bourque - Matt Cullen - Matt Hendricks
Eric Nystrom - Paul Gaustad - Viktor Stalberg

Roman Josi - Shea Weber
Ryan Ellis - Kevin Klein
Mattias Ekholm - Seth Jones

Marek Mazanec
Carter Hutton