Kukla's Korner Hockey
Nashville @ San Jose 9:00 PM ET, NBCSN, SN & TVAS
Winner will face the St. Louis Blues on Sunday at 8:00pm ET in game 1 of the WCF.
I am going with what some will consider an upset, Pekka Rinne 'stands on his head' and the Predators win 3-1.
from Shawn P. Roarke of NHL.com,
The San Jose Sharks know outsiders will be judging them leading up to Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Nashville Predators at SAP Center on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).
The narrative will be about past failures, including their most recent Game 7, a fourth straight loss to the Los Angeles Kings that sent San Jose out of the playoffs in the first round in 2014.
Veteran forward Joe Thornton, often a central figure in those stories, doesn't care about the past. At 36, Thornton, knows the opportunities to play in these games are dwindling.
And so may the chances for this group of veteran Sharks to win.
San Jose has never made it to the Stanley Cup Final. The Sharks reached the Western Conference Final in 2010 and 2011, but lost to Chicago and Vancouver, respectively.
They have since lost in the first round to the St. Louis Blues in 2012 and then had back-to-back Game 7 losses to the Kings, the first coming in the second round in 2013.
NEW YORK (May 10, 2016) – Four Western Conference rivals will vie for the two berths in the Conference Finals in a pair of Game 7s this week. The Dallas Stars will play host to the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday, May 11 (8 p.m., ET/7 p.m., CT, NBCSN, SN, TVAS), followed by the San Jose Sharks taking on the Nashville Predators on Thursday, May 12 (start time and broadcast coverage TBA).
from Joe Rexrode of The Tennessean,
The shots were 25-9 Nashville in the final 40 minutes of regulation, and San Jose’s lone goal after the bang-bang start was a routine Logan Couture shot on the power play that found the net after Rinne lost his footing and slipped to the ice. That threatened to extinguish the Predators despite their dominance.
Yet less than three minutes later, the Predators responded. Mike Ribeiro got the puck to James Neal, who got it to Colin Wilson, who slammed it home. Neal and Wilson continue to terrorize the Sharks.
And Arvidsson continues to … wait, who? Count that as another Laviolette adjustment to pay off — he moved the tiny Swede to the first line with Johansen and Filip Forsberg on Monday, replacing Craig Smith. Arvidsson was a burst of speed and a fluttering backhand and moment to remember in overtime.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “I saw the crowd go crazy, and I didn’t know really what to do.”
Now the Predators will have to figure out what they need to do to win in San Jose – they’re 0-7 in that building in their postseason history, and the home team is 6-0 in this series. They’ll also have to figure out what to do with that strange, extra day between games.
Below, watch the game highlights...
Dallas @ St. Louis 8:00 PM ET NBCSN (John Forslund, Pierre McGuire), CBC & TVAS
San Jose @ Nashville 9:00 PM ET CNBC (Chris Cuthbert, Joe Micheletti), SN & TVAS2
A win tonight will put the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks into the Western Conference Finals.
The Blues don't want to go back to Dallas for game 7 and the Sharks with a win would get a little more time off.
Desperation time tonight.
from David Ammenheuser of The Tennessean,
Nashville has never advanced in the playoffs beyond Game 6 of a Western Conference semifinal series. Saturday's 5-1 loss at San Jose puts the Predators in a 3-2 hole in the best-of-seven series. The Predators need a win at home on Monday to keep their season going and to earn a trip back to San Jose for Game 7 on Thursday.
“I don’t think you look to put (yourself) in that position," James Neal told Tennessean reporter Adam Vingan after Saturday's loss. "I think we just didn’t have our best game tonight for whatever reason, so we just need to go back into Nashville and have a better game and be ready. Our team will. I believe in the guys that we’ll regroup and get some rest and be ready to go, so that’s all that is.”
This is just the second time the Predators are still playing this late into May. The last time came on May 9, 2011, when Vancouver won 2-1 at Bridgestone Arena and eliminated Nashville from the Western Conference semifinals in Game 6.
While the odds are stacked against them, the Predators have been in this must-win-two scenario before.
from Adam Vingan of The Tennessean,
The euphoria of a series-tying, triple-overtime victory having subsided, the Predators had to guard against two things in Game 5 on Saturday— the threat of a letdown and a motivated Sharks team eager to retaliate.
They did neither, losing 5-1 to the Sharks and falling behind 3-2 in their second-round series. To avoid elimination from the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Predators must rebound in Game 6 on Monday at Bridgestone Arena.
"We weren't as desperate as we needed to be," Predators forward Colin Wilson said. "It was 2-2. Both teams should be in the same mindset, so just the way it went."
Rarely have the Predators been visibly outplayed during the playoffs, but this particular loss was certainly one of their worst performances. If there were any concerns that the Sharks would be demoralized by their physically and emotionally draining loss in Game 4, they quickly swiped those aside.
Game highlights are below...
from Joe Rexrode of The Tennessean,
Defensive driving is good. Careful and in control. Overly skittish driving is not good – get a couple of drivers together who are petrified of making a mistake and watch them mash bumpers.
That’s overtime hockey in the Stanley Cup playoffs. It’s weird giveaways and stunning offensive chances, over and over, as onlookers blurt out gasps.
Make it two exhausted drivers in the wee hours and you have double-overtime hockey in the Stanley Cup playoffs. And I don’t have an appropriate analogy for triple overtime. I just know this was the longest game in Nashville Predators history.
And it probably would have been the toughest to lose. But at 1:03 Friday morning, when Predators center Mike Fisher blasted a rebound past San Jose goaltender Martin Jones exactly 4 hours and 53 minutes after the puck dropped on Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals, it just might have been the best yet to win.
“The guys played so hard, it’s just, when you get that deep into a game, there’s a lot invested,” coach Peter Laviolette said after the Predators prevailed 4-3 at Bridgestone Arena to even the series at 2-2 and set up Saturday’s crucial Game 5 in San Jose. “So happy for the guys for pulling it out and getting the win. They invested a lot. There’s a lot of character in our room.”
from Mark Purdy of the Mercury News,
As the Sharks and Nashville Predators entered the third overtime period, only one thing was certain. Whichever team lost was in danger of a mental letdown heavier than the heaviest pickup truck cruising Broadway in front of all the honky-tonks here.
The Sharks lost.
So instead of taking a 3-1 lead in the series back to San Jose for Game 5 on Saturday night, the two teams are tied at two victories each. That's a huge difference.
"We'd like to be up, but it is what it is," said Sharks' goalie Martin Jones, who was brilliant in stopping 18 overtime shots--including a save on one breakaway attempt that was a hold-your-breath moment.
"Nothing we can do now but move on to the next one," Jones said.
"We had so many chances," said Sharks center Logan Couture, who insisted he and his teammates could avoid that mental letdown and shake off the 4-3 loss to the Predators after five hours of intense rushes, gutsy shot blocking, multiple lead changes, world class goalie play and frustration.
Especially for the Sharks, frustration.
Watch the game highlights below...
Many thought it was offside but the San Jose player was outside the zone until his teammate tagged up.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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