San Jose Sharks (27-10-6) at Nashville Predators (18-19-6)
|Date & Time||Tuesday January 7, 2014, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Nashville Predators +148 / San Jose Sharks -163 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Sharks head into Nashville looking for back to back victories while the Predators look to escape the Central division basement with a win.
San Jose continues to be one of the best teams in the NHL as the perennial Western Conference and Stanley Cup contenders have been the class of the regular season for the better part of a decade. Joe Thornton is among the game’s best setup men as he leads the league in assists and shows every night that he is still among the game’s best and gives his team a chance to win every time he steps on the ice. However, it is San Jose’s playoff efforts that stick with the legacy of this team as they have yet to win a Cup and haven’t made it past the Conference finals despite a number of dominating regular seasons and President’s Trophies. San Jose currently sits in second place in the Pacific division trailing only the Ducks and in fourth place in the Conference behind Anaheim, Chicago, and St. Louis setting them up for another crack at a Stanley Cup title. Antii Niemi gets the call in goal for the teal and black while the Preds counter with Marek Mazanec.
The Predators are in a state of turmoil as they have taken a huge plunge from relevance into an also ran and they will likely stay in that bubble for the next couple of seasons. The Preds have been without Pekka Rinne for most of the season as the Finnish netminder battles injury and while Marek Mazanec and Carter Hutton have filled in respectably they aren’t the number one option. Nashville does have a solid blue line that contains Shea Weber, Seth Jones, and Roman Josi but their offense is stagnant and struggles to score goals which are a mantra we are used to seeing in Nashville. The Preds currently sit in last place in the Central division and will likely miss out on the postseason but you can bet they’ll be fired up to play against some of the game’s best which is what they face in San Jose here tonight. Unfortunately, I don’t see any way the Preds keep up with the Sharks here and I think San Jose wins this game with ease.