Sharks GM Wilson talks Rick Nash, calls San Jose “an attractive destination for players”

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Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area spoke with San Jose GM Doug Wilson about a report that the Sharks were becoming serious players in the Rick Nash sweepstakes. While Wilson was hesitant to confirm or deny his interest, his response was still interesting.

“First of all, I didn’t read that story, I haven’t gotten into my clips yet,” Wilson said. “We don’t talk about other teams’ players, and any conversation I do have with a fellow GM would be kept in confidence.

“Historically, though, one of the most important things we do is make this be a place where players do want to play, and make it an attractive destination for players.”

The bit about making San Jose attractive (which may or may not involve a push-up bra and mascara) is key. Nash compiled a list of clubs he’d be willing to accept a trade to, and San Jose was on it — which is interesting given Dreger’s report that Nash is thinking long-term when it comes to a new city.

And if history is any indicator, San Jose really has been an attractive destination for players. Consider who’s arrived via trade since 2007: Bill Guerin, Brian Campbell, Dan Boyle, Travis Moen, Dany Heatley, Ian White, Martin Havlat, Brent Burns and Dominic Moore. Guerin, Heatley, Havlat and Boyle all waived their NTC/NMCs and the sheer volume of acquisitions definitely says something about the franchise.

And really, there is plenty to like about San Jose: Good weather, no overzealous media, building’s 100 percent full, organization treats players well (see: Owen Nolan’s massive retirement ceremony), back-to-back Western Conference final appearances and say what you will about Thornton and Patrick Marleau coming up small in big moments, they’re still gifted offensive players.

Think of it this way: If you’re a scoring winger, you’re jumping at the chance to play alongside Jumbo. The guy got Jonathan Cheechoo a Rocket Richard Trophy — imagine what he can do for you.

No mic? No problem: Oilers fans sing American, Canadian national anthems

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There was apparently an issue with a microphone used for the national anthems prior to Game 3 between the Ducks and Oilers in Edmonton.

Canadian country music star Brett Kissel was supposed to perform the anthems, however, as he stepped up to the mic, he soon discovered that there seemed to be a malfunction.

With some quick encouragement from Kissel, fans at Rogers Place stole the show with stirring renditions of both the American and Canadian national anthems.

Here is the Star Spangled Banner:

Here is O Canada:

Sami Vatanen returns to Ducks lineup vs. Oilers

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Good news for the Anaheim Ducks, who trail the Edmonton Oilers 2-0 in their second round series.

Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen returns to the lineup Sunday for Game 3 — his first game since April 13, which was the opener of Anaheim’s first-round series with Calgary, because of an upper-body injury.

However, the Ducks will be without Kevin Bieksa, who is dealing with a lower-body injury.

Predators stifle Blues to take back series lead

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The Nashville Predators have snapped their one-game funk in these Stanley Cup playoffs, taking back the series lead over the St. Louis Blues.

For long stretches of Sunday’s contest, the Predators kept the puck away from and stifled the Blues, including a stretch of almost nine minutes at the beginning of the second period in which St. Louis failed to register a shot attempt.

The Predators’ 3-1 victory in Game 3 was eventually secured on an unbelievably dominant shift late in the third period.

Joel Edmundson‘s (costly) turnover led to a dizzying attack from Predators, who had sustained puck possession inside the St. Louis zone for about 1:10.

By the end, Edmundson and Colton Parayko had exhausted themselves as the Predators tossed the puck around with increasing ease before Roman Josi halted the madness with a slap shot to the top corner, giving Nashville a two-goal lead.

That continues an impressive trend for the Predators.

They have scored nine goals in this series, with at least one defenseman contributing directly with either a goal or an assist on eight of those goals. Nashville’s group of blueliners — including Ryan Ellis, who has been on quite a productive roll throughout these playoffs — have combined for 11 points through three games in this series.

This series resumes Tuesday in Nashville, with the Predators leading 2-1.

VIDEO: Ryan Ellis continues his incredible postseason run for Predators

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Playing in Nashville over the years it has been easy for Ryan Ellis to get overlooked, always playing in the shadow of bigger name stars on the team’s blue line.

Shea Weber (before he was traded). Roman Josi. P.K. Subban.

But Ellis has been a major part of the Predators’ blue line and he had a career-year in 2016-17, setting new personal bests in goals (16) and points (38) while matching his previous career high in assists (22).

He has continued that strong play in the postseason and is currently the team’s leading scorer after he netted his third goal of the playoffs (and eighth total point) on Sunday afternoon to give the Predators a 1-0 lead over the St. Louis Blues.

You can see it in the video above.

After being held without a point in the Predators’ first playoff game, Ellis has now picked up at least one point in every playoff game since them and is now riding a six-game point streak.

The first half of Sunday’s game has been a defensive clinic by the Predators, by the way, limiting St. Louis to just 10 shots on goal through the first 34 minutes, and none through the first 14 minutes of the second period.

The Predators extended their lead to 2-0 in the second period when Cody McLeod deflected in his first goal of the playoffs to give the Predators some unexpected scoring depth. He had just five goals in 59 games during the regular season between the Predators and Colorado Avalanche.