The NHL playoffs heat up tonight with a Game 6 battle between the Blues and Sharks. The Sharks are just one win away from reaching the Stanley Cup Finals. Can you believe it? That the Sharks are on the cusp of competing for a Stanley Cup. Crazy stuff, but there as a sense for months now that this was a different Sharks’ team. It was easy to see, as Joe Thornton and company looked like they were on a different level. And here we are, with just one win to go before they advance to the next round, which happens to be the Stanley Cup Finals. The Blues hope to get this series back to St. Louis with a win in Game 6.
The Sharks took the series lead by winning in St. Louis. Not much of a shocker there, as they have been a potent team on the road all season long. The Sharks were tops in the league when it came to winning on the road, and at home, it hasn’t been all rainbows and sunshine. Road teams have looked better to me in the playoffs, it is proving that home ice advantage doesn’t mean too much in hockey. Unlike in football and basketball, where having home advantage is fairly important for a team. This does not really seem to be the case in these playoffs. I am going to get straight to my pick for Game 6 below. The Penguins got the job done in Tampa last night behind a 5-2 performance. The Pens went back to Matt Murray in net, the move paid off. I can’t recall a playoff that has had so many goaltending changes made this deep in the playoffs. The Blues have played musical chairs with Jake Allen and Brian Elliott and the Pens have started Fleury and Murray. Look for Elliott tonight, after a rather uninspiring effort from Jake Allen.
St. Louis Blues vs. San Jose Sharks NHL Playoffs Pick
Elliott will get another chance to redeem himself in California. He has the talent, there is no doubt about that, he could still steal a game and carry the Blues. I think the Blues have a fair chance of winning this game tonight. Playing in San Jose is an absolute wash, they may as well play this game on neutral ice. The Blues need to catch a break and need Elliott to show up. We saw how good the Blues can be in Game 4, they blew the Sharks out in San Jose. They will need a little of that once again tonight.
Game 4 showed how beatable the Sharks can be at home. They hovered around the .500 mark during the regular season. It is a little hard to explain, but the moral of the story is the Sharks have not been the best of teams in the Shark Tank. I expect a solid performance from Elliott tonight. He has to be a little frustrated about being pulled for Jake Allen. Now is the time for him to show what a mistake they made. He finished among the top in GAA this season, like I said, he has the talent. In a game that I see as a coin flip, the play in this one has to be the Blues in a must-win scenario to bring this series to a Game 7.
PICK: BLUES TO WIN +148