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SJ/NAS Game 3 - PreGame Notes
Sharks hold upbeat practice Monday
4/24/06 - By Mike Lee

The Predators will have more to worry about than just the Sharks on Thursday night as the two teams faceoff against each other in Game 4 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series. NHL Comissioner Gary Bettman will be in attendance at HP Pavilion. Several Predators players complained after their game 2 loss to the Sharks that Bettman's presence may have played a role in overly restrictive on-ice officiating.

Bettman has indicated that any official who puts his whistle in his pocket during the playoffs, won't be officiating in the playoffs and that he wants the same protections that the new NHL rules afforded teams durng the regular season, to be imposed during the NHL's second season.

Practice makes perfect

The Sharks conducted an upbeat workout at Logitech Ice on Monday afternoon, a day after their dominating win over the Predators in Game 2. Jonathan Cheechoo told reporters after the practive that he fully expects the HP Pavilion crowd to play a big role in the teams fortunes on Tuesday and Thursday.

"The crowd will be loud, and that may force them (the Predators) to think that something big is happening. That could force them to a mistake or take a penalty," Cheechoo said.

With the home ice advantage back in their favor, San Jose's confidence is building. Of course, shutting out your opponent certainly helps build confidence. For goaltender Vesa Toskala, Sunday was his first NHL playoff win and first NHL playoff shutout.

Pre-Game rally set

The Sharks will be hosting pre-game rallies prior to each home playoff game this postseason, beginning with their first home playoff game this Tuesday against the Nashville Predators. The rallies run from 5:15 pm to 7:15 pm before each home game and are open to the public. The first playoff rally will be prior to Game Three on Tuesday, April 26 from 5:15 – 7:15 PM on

Festivities kick off at Autumn Street in between Santa Clara Street and St. John Street. Activities for the first two playoff rallies will include music and a live DJ from Sounds in Motion, a performance by the Keith King BMX Stunt Show, face painting and balloon art by Dizzy Entertainment, poster making and other fun and games for the kids. In addition, the Sharks Foundation will have a benefit beer booth with proceeds from the beer sales going to the Sharks Foundation. Corporate partners of the Sharks will also have manned sponsor booths at the rallies.

The Bear says...

Former Shark Andrei Nazarov was asked to predict the outcome of the Sharks - OPredators series. His response:

"San Jose in seven. I have faith in my former team, or more precisely, in Thornton, Cheechoo, and Nabokov."

Nice to see Nazzy is keeping up with the goaltending situation in SJ. Attention to details Nazzy. That's what cost you your gig in San Jose. Or more precisely your lack of skills. Or was it that head butting thing?

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