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Sharks vs Predators Gameday: A Tale of Two Defensemen

Game 9: San Jose Sharks (5-3-0) vs. Nashville Predators (2-4-1)

Gametime: 7:30pm PST / 10:30pm EST
TV: CSNBA, FSTN
Radio: 98.5 KFOX


After posting an 18-20-3 home record last season, the San Jose Sharks seem to have found their groove at the Tank again, winning all three of their first games of the year at SAP Center. Tonight, they have the chance to remain unbeaten at home against a familiar foe, the Nashville Predators.

The two teams haven’t met since May 12th, when the Sharks dominated the Predators 5-0 in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals. Pekka Rinne will be in net and lead a Predators squad looking to right their wrongs against the team that bounced them from the playoffs last season.

While the “playoff revenge” narrative is sexy and fun to write about, Sharks Head Coach Peter DeBoer is more concerned with the Predators’ newest acquisition, P.K. Subban. From Fear The Fin:

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Subban has 5 points in his first 7 games with Nashville, and has been a major upgrade to Nashville’s power play, which currently leads the league at 37%. While the Sharks’ penalty kill has looked stellar the last few games, they should look to cancel any plans for parades to the penalty box tonight.

While Subban has been producing for Nashville, his possession numbers have not. He currently sits at a 46.8 Corsi For%, over five points off his career average of 52.1%. As we watched on May 12th, the Sharks love making teams pay for defensive turnovers. Look for San Jose to start this game fast and get the jump early on PK Subban and the Predators. The newly-minted third line of Tomas Hertl, Patrick Marleau, and Joel Ward will be leaned on for scoring tonight, as the top two lines will be busy handling the speed of Subban.

If there any more questions about how the Sharks will handle PK Subban, Brent Burns is the answer to all of them. The Sharks defenseman currently has 9 pts and a 55.7% Corsi For on the season, and does pretty much everything PK Subban does but better. Except for goal celebrations.

I really don’t see how anyone misses Shea Weber.

Prediction: Sharks 2, Predators 0. Martin Jones puts on another clinic, and puts Pekka Rinne back in one.

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NBCSN

San Jose Sharks Lines
Mikkel Boedker – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Joonas Donskoi – Logan Couture – Joel Ward
Patrick Marleau – Tomas Hertl – Melker Karlsson
Micheal Haley – Chris Tierney – Tommy Wingels

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Martin Jones (confirmed starter)
Aaron Dell

Nashville Predators Lines
Viktor Arvidsson – Ryan Johansen – James Neal
Filip Forsberg – Mike Ribeiro – Kevin Fiala
Colin Wilson – Mike Fisher – Craig Smith
Calle Jarnkrok – Colton Sissons – Austin Watson

Roman Josi – P.K. Subban
Mattias Ekholm – Ryan Ellis
Matt Irwin – Yannick Weber

Pekka Rinne
Marek Mazanec

San Jose Sharks Nashville Predators Advantage
5-3-0 Record 2-4-1 Sharks
2nd, Pacific Div. Standing 7th, Central
5-3-0 Last 10 Games 2-4-1 Sharks
22.2% (T-13th) Power Play 37.0% (1st) Preds
84.0% (T-11th) Penalty Kill 68.0 (29th) Sharks
19 (T-19th) Goals For 18 (T-22nd) Sharks
20 (T-17th) Goals Against 24 (T-9th) Sharks
-1 Goal Differential -6 Sharks

About Joe Hospodor

Joe Hospodor (@ABoyAndHisTeam) is a Bay Area native and has been a Sharks fan since his first game in 1993. He currently lives in Los Angeles for some stupid reason.

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