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Game 4 Report Card
Grading the series
4/18/07 - By Mike Lee

The SHarks made the most of their two games at home, taking a 3-2 decision in Game 4 to push their series lead to 3-1. We rank the basics and tell you who the heros and goats were in the Game 4 Report Card:

Team Matchups San Jose Nashville
Offense A-The Sharks continue to put the goals up on the board with solid play from their offense. Milan Michalek scord a pair of goals to push his tally to 4 for the series, and his setup man, Joe Thornton, is starting to get hot. D+The Predators get an A for effort in the 1st period, but their execution has killed their chances int he last two games. David Legwand, Paul Kariya and Jason Arnott have been non-factors in this series.
Defense B+The Sharks weathered the storm early and deflated the Predators scheme. The only blemish came on a 2nd period goal by Jason Arnott. San Jose had troubles clearing the zone for that 60 second span, and it ended up put points on the board for Nashville. D+The Predators defense has been giving up even strength goals in bushels in the series. The Sharks are starting to figure out that the Predators don't have the bodies to jam up the slot.
Power Play FThe man advantage is turning into a legitimate concern for the Sharks. Their inability to convert on the power play is rooted in a perimeter attack that allows the opposing penalty kill units to run interference in the passing lanes. The Sharks need to get a body in front of the net if they want to cycle the puck. C+The Sharks aren't taking man penalties, so the Predators power play unit has seen action few and far between. They did capitalize late with a 2-man advantage.
Penalty Kill B-Not many chances to prove themselves, but Mike Grier and Curtis Brown have proven invaluable in he penalty killing department. Only a 2-man advantage got one past the PK AThe speedy Predators penalty killing unit continues to give teh Sharks fits. If the Preds had the offensive firepower to match the Sharks, this would have been one heck of a serie.
Goaltending AEvgeni Nabokov was outstanding in Game 4. his play in the 1st period broke the Predators and energized his teammates. You can't fault him for a 6-on-4 goal, so in the past two games, he's averaging one even strength goal per game. That should be good enough to win series after series with goaltending like that. C+Can't fault Vokoun for the screen his own defenseman set on Pavelski's goal. Timonen's bank shot also doesn't bode well for the Preds goaltender, but he has to come up bigger if Nashville is going to get back into this series.
Individual Matchups    
Hero  Evgeni Nabokov - The Predators were backed into a corner, so they came out swinging. Nabokov took every punch and came back for more. His save with 4 mi nus remaining in the 2nd period preserved a 2-goal lead, and gave the Sharks the room to setup the win in the 3rd period.

Milan Michalek (Honorable Mention) - His 2 goals were back breakers for Nashville. His 1st denied the Predators the early lead after they cae out with guns blazing, and his 2nd padded the Sharks lead just enough to win.
 Tomas Vokoun - He continues to do his job, but he's not getting much support. WIthout any goal support, he's not able to shut the Sharks down.

Jordin Tootoo (Honorable Mention) - Give the guy credit. He's no Joe Thornton, but you get 110% from this guy. He's a pest that gets your attention, which shift focus from your primary goal. He's the one guy on the ice that buzzing constantly.
Goat  Ryane Clowe - He has to have better game presence late in the contest. His penalty late in the 3rd lad to a Predators goal, and cut the Shakrs lead to a single goal. Funny things have happened, so a lucky bounce could have tied the game, and now you're in sudden death.  Alexander Radulov - After returning from his 1-game suspension, the rookie forward was a non-factor in Game 4. The suspension probably got to his head, which has taken him out of his own game. That game resulted in 3 goals in the first 4 periods of this series. He was non-existent on Wednesday night.

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