The Nashville Predators (33-24-9) finish their final multi-game road trip of the year tonight in San Jose where they will face the Sharks (38-22-6) at the HP Pavilion where they have a 8-11-(1)-3 record all time.
The Predators are desperate for at least a point and have a chance to finish the season with their best record ever against the Sharks as they are 2-0-1 this season taking five of a possible six points and have never gotten more than six in a season which they got 2005-06 and 2006-07.
On December 15 in Nashville, the Preds were down 2-1 late in the third and came back to score two goals in 44 seconds to clinch a 3-2 win. On January 8, in San Jose, the Preds won 2-1 and capped off the second ever sweep of the three California teams on a road swing. On February 15, Pred killer Patric Marleau scored in overtime to give the Sharks a 2-1 win.
The Predators have been less than average lately going 6-7-3 since the All-Star break. The Sharks have been one of the hottest teams in the Western Conference and have taken the lead in the Pacific Division going 13-3-0 since the mid season break.
Pekka Rinne (23-19-7, 2.10, .929) has played well in spite of the teams struggles and continues to be the team MVP. Antti Niemi (25-16-3, 2.38, .919) has taken control of the Shark's net and appears strong as he heads for a return to the playoffs after leading Chicago to the Stanly Cup last season.
Nashville has fallen to eleventh place but still remains only two points out of the eight playoff spot in the standings. After tonight's game, the Preds play 12 of the next 14 at the Bridgestone Arena. Only three single day road trips remain.
Other previews come from Amanda DiPaolo, HNIN, Predatorial, Chris Burton, The Tennessean, and Predators.com.
Previews from California comes from The Mercury News, Inside Bay Area, SF Gate, Working the Corners, Fear the Fin, Battle of California, Blades of Teal, SharksPage, and Couch Tarts.
In Preds Nation...
Jim Diamond has the news that Blake Geffrion and Jon Blum will still be considered rookies next season.
Josh Cooper has the story of J P Dumont's decreased role with the team.
David Boclair discusses the oddity of the Predators being near the top in fewest goals allowed but are still struggling for a playoff position.
Lyle Richardson looks at all the option available to Shea Weber in regards to a new contract.
If you go to Section 303 you will notice a new link to a Forum. Check it out.
Robby at HNIN takes a long look at the injury situation in relation to the Predators' recent slide.
Predatorial looks at why the Predators need J P Dumont.
Chris Burton looks at the top ten Predators prospects and compares them to NHL players.
Dirk Hoag is pimping Podcamp 2011 on March 26. We will definitely be there.
Here is a deal from Jersey Mike's to help the Predator's Foundation. Donate a dollar and get two for one subs with this coupon.
Around the NHL...
In a game that the Predators did not want to turn into a three point game, it did just that as the Stars beat the Kings 4-3 in overtime.
Pred-killer Jerone Iginla was this week's first star of the week with Andrej Sekera of Buffalo and Carey Price of Montreal also getting stars.
Can Adrian Dater's heaping praise on the New Jersey Devils cause them to slide? We should see as the head into a streak of five winnable games against Ottawa (H-A), Atlanta (H-A), and the Islanders (H).
No lawsuit was filed in the Coyotes's situation yesterday as had been announced but the Goldwater Institute did respond to the potential of litigation. Here is the Arizona Republic story with a link to the letter sent to the bond rating firms that has caused so much trouble.
The latest word from Bill Daly is that a suit in the Coyotes situation will not effect the end result of the sale. The league indicated that the lease or the financing may be restructured if needed.
Carey Price has carried his team almost as much as Pekka Rinne has carried the Preds. Here is a look at Price's season so far.
NHL.com looks at how a few deadline acquisitions are fitting in with their new teams.
Ryan Porth takes a look at the top candidates for GM of the year.
Gann Matsuda looks at the weight on the shoulders of the Kings' netminders.
Also from LA, Dean Lombardi met with 500 season ticket holders for an in-season state of the team address.
Here is What's Cooking with Kevin Weekes, as in food.
The final figures are in for the amount of money generated by the NHL All-Star game extravaganza for the Raleigh area.
Brian Burke spoke to the Harvard School of Law. He is a 1981 graduate of the law school.
Steve Lapore's Puck The Media column is nearing it's millionth visitor and running a contest to celebrate.
Mayors Manor adds more fuel to the fire of Penner-mania in Los Angeles.
Odds and Ends...
The Tennessean takes a look at the local "better burger" market and claims Five Guys is champs. I still place In-N-Out at the top of any burger list, "better" or otherwise.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass