Finally, a known opponent.
Predators flew to San Jose on Thursday after winning their first round series in their first game 7 against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, and open up the series on Friday.
The Predators have never won a series against the Sharks, and the Sharks have never faced the Predators in the second round. Sharks won both the 05-06 and 06-07 WCQF series against the Predators in five games.
The Sharks forwards average 6′ 1″, and 202.8 pounds; defense 6′ 2″ and 212.8. Forwards average age is 28.6, defense 28.4.
The Predators forwards average about the same height, more than two pounds heavier, and a year and a half younger. Defense is half an inch shorter, more than six pounds lighter and again about a year and a half younger.
Nashville is riding high after its first game 7, and a win. So could come in “hot” against the Sharks who haven’t played for a week.
This will probably a physical series, based on the # of hits each team had in the regular season. Predators averaged more than a minute more of penalties per game than the Sharks. Sharks scored more goals and let in fewer goals than the Predators.
While both teams had good road playoff records in the first round, and the Sharks had a poor regular season home record, I don’t know that it’ll be that much a difference with the intensity of the second round playoffs.
And sometimes all the stats and calculations in the world don’t mean a thing when the puck drops.
My call: Sharks in 6.
Series preview, news/links
- ESPN LeBrun preview/prediction
- SI: Donskoi becoming not-so-secret weapon
- CBS: Round 2 predictions
- Spector’s Hockey: Round 2 picks
- NBC: Round 2 predictions
- AP: Rested Sharks ready to face Predators
- USA Today: Joe Thornton NHL’s most underrated star
- USA Today: Ranking 8 teams remaining in playoffs
- Yahoo: Round 2 picks
- Yahoo: Puck Daddy podcast with Bret Hedican, previewing round 2
- Olczyk round 2 preview
- Sportsnet: Goaltending a weakness for Predators (4/21)
- Sportsnet: series preview
Hilarious interview with Nick Spaling via telephone (video)
- NHL: Five reasons the Predators advanced
- SJMN WTC: Sharks catching a break (with tired Nashville team)? Not the way they’ve been hitting their stride.
- SJMN: Donskoi, Karlsson providing forward depth
- Gackle: Donskoi earned coach’s trust by playing simple, mature game
- Gackle: Sharks don’t see themselves as favorites over Predators
- Tennessean series preview
- Tennessean: Preds face tough test