Following the Predators 3-1 win in Game 6, team teal must wait until Wednesday night to find out their second-round foe.
Well, the San Jose Sharks will have to wait just a little bit longer.
With the Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks going the distance in their first-round series, the Sharks won’t know whether they will begin the second round at home or if they’re heading back to Southern California. Nashville was able to extend this series to a Game 7, which is great news for team teal fans, by defeating the Ducks by a 3-1 final last night.
From a San Jose perspective, this is all you could’ve hoped for as this series between the Predators and Ducks has been a very physical, grinding one. Whoever emerges will be a banged up squad that won’t have the luxury of rest this Sharks group has enjoyed.
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Team teal returned to the ice on Monday for their first practice after a much-deserved weekend off following their Game 5 victory to eliminate the Kings. The Sharks likely don’t care who wins between the Ducks and Predators tomorrow night as each team plays a similar-brand of hockey.
Both teams like to limit speed through the neutral zone and want to take away space from their opponents. If Anaheim should win, San Jose wouldn’t have home-ice advantage in the second round, which as we’ve seen this season, wouldn’t be that big of a deal as team teal was the NHL’s best road team in the regular season and won all three games away from SAP Center in round one.
The Ducks were able to take three of the four meetings against the Sharks this year, but each game was extremely tight. After winning 2-0 in the second game of the season, team teal dropped the other three contests, with two of them being 1-0 games and the other a 3-2 contest at the beginning of February.
On the other hand, should Nashville find a way to steal Game 7 on the road, the Sharks would have home-ice advantage in the second round. While that would be nice, team teal would have extended travel in a series against the Predators.
During the regular season, San Jose dropped two of the three meetings against the Preds as the Sharks struggled to gain any offensive traction with just five goals in those three games. However, this has been a different San Jose team in the postseason that has shown the ability to win games in different fashions.
From a matchup perspective, the Ducks appear like the more explosive squad, possessing the speed and skill to cause problems at any moment. Meanwhile, the Predators defense is a well-structured unit that loves to jump into the play, although Nashville does struggle at times to generate consistent offensive chances.
Both teams are very good on the penalty kill, and both have really struggled on the man advantage during the postseason so there isn’t much of a difference there either.
All-in-all, I’m sure the Sharks don’t care who they draw in the next round. The next series will likely get started on Friday night regardless of whether it’s in San Jose or Anaheim, and team teal will clearly be well-rested as they will have had an entire week off.
Sit back and enjoy tomorrow night’s game Sharks fans as it will likely be the last stress-free game you’ll be able to watch this postseason.