by Jackson Walsh
The Nashville Predators (7-1-0, 14 pts) protected by Juuse Saros and praying for Pekka Rinne come in on a big high note against the San Jose Sharks (4-3-1, 9 pts) at Bridgestone Arena. San Jose, though not a division opponent, has become sort of a quasi-rival of the Predators, being that it was against the team that Pekka earned his 300th career win, it was against them also that the Predators played the longest game of the 2015-16 Stanley Cup playoffs. It was the Western Conference Semifinals Game 4 when Mike Fisher ended a triple-overtime affair to end the marathon and have the team falling (literally) off the bench. Now this is another chapter.
Coming off a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders, the Sharks have had a decent start to this season even without ol’ reliable Joe Thornton at center. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise to any that have seen the Sharks play. These guys have so many weapons that can score at any minute, current team point leader Logan Couture, Jonass Donskoi, Brent Burns, Thomas Hertl, Joe Pavelski and Al-World Defenseman Erik Karlsson. All guys, along with many more that can easily bury the puck and make skaters hustle in the defensive zone.
However, it won’t prove to be a major challenge for Saros in goal, seeing as though he ousted San Jose in his only matchup against them back on March 29. I have all confidence in him, he’s proven his salt on the team. After they beat out high-scoring Calgary and shut down McDavid and crew in Edmonton, there’s no doubt we can hold the fort and win this game.
More of the same improvements that they’ve been chipping away at, improving that disappointing 11% Power Play and dialing down the penalty minutes and overall setting up opportunities in the offensive end. We’ve definitely fixed our mistakes in the last couple of games and look very confident. Let’s tackle this big home test.