By Amanda DiPaolo
San Jose Sharks forward Dany Heatley acknowledges the competitive nature of the Western Conference. It would seem that as each day passes, the Western Conference standings get more and more muddled with no obvious playoff picture emerging.
“I don’t know exactly what it is but there is different styles from the East and the West,” Healtey explained, “Top to bottom in the West you have pretty good teams, all the teams can skate, you are in for a battle every night. It’s definitely a tough Conference.”
Vancouver will win the Northwest Division and it is likely Detroit takes the Central. Edmonton will have another top 5 draft pick and the chances of Colorado or St. Louis making the post season continues to slip away. But positions three through twelve in the West are up for grabs.
The Nashville Predators host the Sharks Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena in a battle for playoff positioning. Nashville has 67 points, good for fourth in the Western Conference, but San Jose is right behind them with 66 points. In their last 10, the Sharks are 7-2-1. Nashville’s play is less impressive at 5-4-1 in their last 10 games. But the Predators are winners of their last two outings and the Sharks are now losers of two straight games. The Sharks also have an impressive road record of 17-11-3.
Tuesday night’s game is shaping up to be a playoff-style game. With San Jose just one point out of 9th and Nashville two points out of a playoff position, picking up points is a must for both teams.
When it comes to Nashville playing the Sharks, Dany Heatley has got to be the most dangerous player on the ice. In regard to teams that Heatley has played less than 12 times in his career, he has more points against Nashville than any other, with 8 goals and 7 assists in 11 games for 15 points.
Heatley is not sure what is the driving force behind his success against the Predators. “Sometimes those are just coincidences, but I like playing at [Bridgestone Arena]. It’s a fun place to play. I have good friends in here. Who knows,” Heatley said.
This season, the Sharks have played Nashville twice and lost both games. Heatley has one goal in those two contests. Heatley leads the team in points with 19 goals and 28 assists.
Tickets still available for Tuesday night’s game. The Predators are offering ticket specials. Two upper-level tickets cost only $42 and two lower-level tickets can be picked up for $92. Game time is 7 pm.
– Photo: Getty Images
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