||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
||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.
||F||The 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.
||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
||A||The 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.
||A||Evgeni 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.
|| ||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
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
| ||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
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.
|| ||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.