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Sharks Set To Take On Predators

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks

The Sharks and Predators are very familiar with each other, as after tonight, Nashville will have comprised 23 percent of San Jose's schedule.  Two contests have been played in Tennessee with the host club prevailing in one goal games each time.


"They have the skill and by winning eight in a row, they really gained confidence," said Rob Davison.  "They are fast and you have to play smart against them."


Difficulties in Nashville are nothing new for Team Teal. During the 2003-04 Pacific Division winning campaign, they dropped both contests in Music City. Not surprisingly, one was a one-goal loss in overtime and the other was the forgettable 7-3 loss in February. That loss jumpstarted the Sharks as they took 11 of the next 12 available points.


After the last one-goal loss in Nashville on Oct. 26, the Sharks have taken the last six points available.



Most Sharks fan know of the 1998 draft day trade when the Sharks and Predators swapped second and third overall picks, with Nashville taking David Legwand and San Jose taking Brad Stuart, enabling the clubs to take who they wanted in the first round.


The trailer on the deal was that in order to move up, San Jose also acquired Nashville's 28th overall pick in the second round.  They turned that into Jonathan Cheechoo.  Nashville always wanted Legwand and the Sharks always wanted Stuart, but no one will ever know what the Predators would have done with the pick.


"One of their scouts was a teacher at my school in Belleville," said Cheechoo.  "They really wanted Legwand.  He beat me in rookie scoring in the OHL.  He had 50 goals and I was second and I only had 30."


In the end, both clubs got what they wanted out of the deal.


"It worked out good for both teams," said Cheechoo.


However, the deal was seven years ago and neither player really focuses too much on the team that traded their rights.


"That was a long time ago," said Stuart.  "



The NHL is allowing players to be miked this season.  For tonight's game on FSN+, Kyle McLaren will be recorded.  Stuart was the choice for the previous contest.


"When you're on the ice you don't think about it," said Stuart.  "Obviously before you tell yourself not to use any profanity."


A big Giants fan, Stuart enjoys the clips when he is watching a baseball game.


"They're not going to give you everything, but it is good to see," said Stuart.  "It's interesting to hear the players and managers."



The National Hockey League set an all-time attendance record for the month of October, attracting an average of 16,820 fans and filling rinks to 91.2% capacity.  Twenty-three of 30 clubs are even or ahead of their 2003-04 performance, with six of the top 10 gainers located in the 'Sun Belt.'  The percentage increase leaders are Pittsburgh (+31%), Tampa Bay (+26%), Calgary (+23%), Carolina (+21%), Florida (+19%), Atlanta (+15%), Boston (+15%), Nashville (+14%), San Jose(+13%) and Chicago (+13%).


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