San Jose Sharks (0-0) vs. Nashville Predators (0-0)
October 7, 2022 2:00 pm EDT
The Line: Nashville Predators -192 / San Jose Sharks +155; Over/Under: +6
(Get latest betting odds)
The San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators meet Friday in NHL action at the O2 Arena. The San Jose Sharks won 32 games last year and will begin the David Quinn era. The Nashville Predators are coming off 45 wins and enter the third full year under coach John Hynes.
The San Jose Sharks are a proud franchise that’s used to competitiveness and success, but hasn’t made the playoffs since the 2018-19 season. The Sharks now have a new GM and head coach. Defensively, Brent Burns leaves after 11 seasons and there’s still major question marks on the offensive side outside of Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier. The Sharks should be looking at William Eklund and Thomas Bordeleau to provide a spark, but the question is when they’ll be ready to really step up, as neither are old enough to drink yet. The bright spot for the Sharks is probably the goaltending depth, with James Reimer and Kaapo Kahkonen leading the charge. Reimer is the veteran who has posted 55 quality starts in his last 95 games played, while Kahkonen will finally get a fair shot at consistent minutes and has a .916 save percentage in 11 games with San Jose. The Sharks have depth issues and changes in the front office, but it doesn’t look like they’re ready to go in the complete rebuild mode, so don’t count them out just yet.
The Nashville Predators haven’t missed the playoffs since the 2013-14 season, but they hope this is the year they can make a run after many recent exits. The Preds made the splash for a veteran defenseman and two-time cup winner in Ryan McDonagh, who certainly makes this team better. The signing of Nino Niederreiter gives Nashville another playmaker, and of course the fanbase can rest easy knowing Filip Forsberg is signed for the long term. It will be interesting to see if more talent around him will finally unlock Dante Fabbro, as he’s been a bit of a disappointment up to this point given what he showed at Boston U… The issue for the Predators is at goalie, as they relied a ton on Juuse Saros last season, and he’s actually played nearly 6,000 minutes the last two years. While productive, Kevin Lankinen or even Iaroslav Askarov stepping up and becoming a reliable backup would be huge to keeping the 27-year-old fresh.
The Sharks are 0-4 in their last 4 Friday games and 16-35 in their last 51 overall. The Predators are 0-5 in their last 5 vs. Western Conference and 0-5 in their last 5 overall. The under is 15-7-1 in Sharks last 23 Friday games. The over is 8-1 in Predators last 9 overall. The Sharks are 7-19 in the last 26 meetings in Nashville and 0-4 in the last 4 meetings.
This is a weird game because it’s being played in the Czech Republic, the travel is weird, and you never know what these teams look like in the first few games. Rust is a thing. With that said, the Nashville Predators are clearly the better team here, and they’ve beaten up on the Sharks in recent meetings. With nothing to go off of expect last year and how the rosters look right now, I have to lean Predators until we get a sample size. I’ll lay the PL for max betting value.