There St. Louis Blues will hope to tie the series up in Game 4 before we head back to St Louis. If the Blues can manage to have the series at 2-2 after four games, they would consider themselves one lucky team. Despite being down by one game, it feels like they are down by a whole lot more. The Penguins and Lightning series feels similar as well. The Blues and Lightning have both look overmatched, yet it’s still a 2-1 series on both accounts (Note: I am writing this prior to the Friday night game between the Pens and Lightning). I’m not sure what transpired last night, but that one feels like a must-win for the Lightning, and likewise for the Blues.
The Sharks are overpowering the Blues with size and speed. It almost looks like the Blues have been going in slow motion, while the Sharks skate all over them. The last two games could have been blowouts and Game 1 could have easily went to the Sharks. They came as close as you can come to tying it up, but couldn’t find the open space behind Elliott. In the following two games, there were no doubts about who the better team was.
Let’s give lots of credit to Martin Jones. During every chase to the Stanley Cup, a goaltender steps up and steals the show, Jones has been doing that, and could lead his team all of the way to the end. There is plenty of credit to go around on the Sharks. The big three of the Sharks, Thornton, Pavelski, and Marleau have played a critical role in the run here, and Jokes is taking a bit of a backseat to all of this. May I remind you, Jones hasn’t allowed a goal in 120 minutes, which of course is two games. He has held strong and hasn’t buckled under the pressure, an important characteristic in the playoffs for a goalie.
Jones enters tonight with a 1.89 GAA throughout the playoffs. He has also allowed just 2 goals in this series, 2 in Game 1 and nothing since. On the Blues’ side, once again there is talk of Brian Elliott being benched. We’ll see how it unfolds in Game 4 tonight. I’ll be watching this one on my flight to Vegas tonight. Hopefully I get the trip started out well with a winning pick.
St. Louis Blues vs. San Jose Sharks NHL Playoffs Pick
Martin Jones, the Sharks’ first-year starter, hasn’t allowed any major gaffes, and right now easy and steady will win the race. I’d be surprised if Elliott doesn’t get the call tonight, just like after there was speculation for Game 7. This isn’t Elliot’s problem, if Jones was on the opposite side, I imagine it would be the same result. Getting outworked has something to do with it. The Sharks are the heaviest bet team to win the Stanley Cup, and I can’t argue that, some people got some tremendous value on them.
Joe Pavelski leads all goal scorers in the NHL playoffs. The Sharks also have the top three point getters in the playoffs. If the last two games were combined, San Jose would have won 7-0. The Sharks appear like they are on another level and the look on the Blues’ faces is starting to sink in. They’ve had an answer for everything, whatever the Blues try to do on defense, the Sharks shut it down or completely clog up a passing lane. The Blues need to try something different, but I don’t know if there is anything that can be done to disrupt the Sharks. I like a play on the Sharks tonight.
PICK: SHARKS TO WIN -150