San Jose Sharks complete long road trip east in Tennessee, taking on the Predators

Feb 24, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) battles
Feb 24, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) battles / Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

This roadtrip has been awful. This season has been bad, but we're not far from the end of it now. With there not being much time until the end of the year, we're getting to the final steps. The last couple of games as the pain will eventually stop... for a few months. The pain of being a Sharks fan is eternal, but the season will end giving us respite for a while. Anyway, they take on the red hot Nashville Predators tonight, because of course they do.

Nashville sit in the wild card spots right now and they're in red hot form. Coming from the basement of the NHL standings to go 12-0-2 in their last 14, taking 26 of a possible 28 points, they are now right in the thick of the action in the NHL once again. There could be a situation where they upset a team in round one if the cards are stacked right too, so this is definitely a team to watch after game 82.

As for the Sharks, they currently have a four-point lead on the Chicago Blackhawks in the Celebrini sweepstakes after that collapse at the United Center. San Jose remain the only team in the NHL with a points percentage under .300, and its in danger of dropping below .250, which would mean the Sharks have taken less than a quarter of the points available to them. It's been a difficult year, for everyone involved with this organization.

Projected Lineups

San Jose Sharks

Klim Kostin - Mikael Granlund - Fabian Zetterlund
Filip Zadina - William Eklund - Luke Kunin
Thomas Bordeleau - Nico Sturm - Justin Bailey
Kevin Labanc - Ryan Carpenter - Alexander Barabanov
Mario Ferraro - Kyle Burroughs
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Henry Thrun
Jacob MacDonald - Calen Addison
Magnus Chrona
Devin Cooley

Nashville Predators

Filip Forsberg - Ryan O'Reilly - Gustav Nyquist
Anthony Beauvillier - Colton Sissons - Jason Zucker
Mark Jankowski - Tommy Novak - Luke Evangelista
Cole Smith - Michael McCarron - Kiefer Sherwood
Ryan McDonagh - Roman Josi
Marc Del Gazio - Alexandre Carrier
Tyson Barrie - Luke Schenn
Kevin Lankinen
Juuse Saros

Puck Drop

This is a 5 p.m. puck drop from Bridgestone Arena in Music City. Nashville are looking to strengthen their hold on a wild card spot and get themselves back into the postseason. San Jose are simply looking for someone to end their suffering. This just has the feeling of one of those games where the scoreline could get very ugly, so let's pray for the sake of the Sharks that it doesn't turn out to be the case.