2/14 NASHVILLE 5, sharks 0
I don't like it, I don't love it, and thank god I don't have to hear anymore of it (small tweak on the Nashville Predators goal song [read twangy crooning]).
Well, it's pretty safe to say tonight didn't go according to plans, unless the plans called for all 13,000 Predator fans to lose their voice screaming for goal after goal after goal. A semi-decent effort by the Sharks fell by the wayside as each and every one of their mistakes seemed to be capitalized by those guys in the mustard shirts (pardon me, but do you have any grey poupon?) on the other side of the ice. The Sharks are now 2-1 on this 8 game roadie, and are now 7-2 on the second night of a back-to-back, with both losses coming to the Nashville in the House of Predators (HOP) here in the Music City.
They did have a great night killing all 12 minutes worth of Nashville powerplay time, and Evgeni Nabokov even played half decent in his first game back since a groin injury and his wife's birth of their second child, making 25 saves in 50 minutes of action (and allowed 3 goals). Vesa Toskala made 3 saves (and allowed 2 goals), and was given the loss (his 9th of the year) for just 10 minutes of crappy play. But just too many mistakes by the Sharks led to great scoring chances by the Predators that they were able to capitalize (a little too easily, or so it seemed).
Nashville is still a budding hockey city, and still struggles to sell out the weeknight games, despite frequent weekend sellouts. It is a shame to me, as the Predators are currently one of the NHL's elite teams, and so many people in the Nashville area don't even know what high level of puck they're missing out on 41 times a year. That shouldn't say that the fans who do show up (13,836 on this evening) aren't loud, annoying, and rambunctious, perfect for hockey. A few more years, and maybe there won't be such uproarious behavior in the stands every time a Predator falls down (fall down doesn't mean penalty). As mentioned in my previous Nashville post, most of the chants and other fan related fun to get the team going originates in the Cell Block, Section 303. Check out their website at Section 303 .
Teal invades Columbus tomorrow night as the Sharks take on the Blue Jackets (4:00 pst). The teams have met twice this season, both games going to the Sharks (3-0 in Columbus 10/23, 5-2 in San Jose 1/6). The Sharks will get a much needed days rest, allowing goaltenders Evgeni Nabokov and Vesa Toskala (unknown who will start, but should be Nabby), and forwards Joe Pavelski and Mark Smith an extra day to heal, and allow recent callup Mathieu Darche (pronounced DARSH) an opportunity to get in from the bad winter weather that left him stranded and unable to play last night, and possibly the ability to get into the lineup for tomorrow.
Go Sharks (but don't worry about me, cause I got me a freakin taco last night) (TACO!!!!!)
Unfortunately, tonight was lived by me. Not a fun night to live Sharks hockey.
Cell Block 303, before the game.