The San Jose Sharks have stayed true to regular season form: protecting the ice on the road. In a trend which carried over to the playoffs, the Sharks grabbed a 2-0 series in LA. The two wins came at the Staples Center and they haven’t yet stepped foot on the ice at home in the playoffs. Do they really want to do that, though? If they had it their way, I’m sure they’d be glad to give all 7 games to the Kings at home. The Sharks have frustrated the Kings, making it difficult for LA to get any kind of tempo going on offense. But now the Sharks come home, probably to the approval of the Kings.
San Jose finished a putrid 18-20-3 at home, compared to what they did on the road, a record of 30-10-3, which includes their two past wins. I thought the Sharks would split in LA, not take both. They displayed their expertise playing away from their hometown in full color. Now they’ll need to dispel one side of their regular season trend, losing at home.
The Sharks have been a below .500 team at home, but they seem to have the Kings where they want them right now. The Kings are lying flat on their back on the mat and the Sharks are trying to lock in a finishing hold tonight. They can do it in front of their home fans, who haven’t had much to cheer about when they come to the Shark Tank to watch a game. I joked about it a month ago, that season ticket holders who don’t follow hockey too closely and just attend live games, probably think this team is terrible. Well, watch them on the road and you’ll see a different team. I am interested in seeing how they respond at home now, with a 2-0 series lead, and the realization that their home pad has been their own worst nightmare.
If Martin Jones plays as well in net as he did in the first two games, then it isn’t going to matter where the game is being played. It took until the 3rd period with 5:00 remaining for the Kings to sneak one past him. Conversely, Jonathan Quick looked confused and had some lapses in judgement on occasions. Jones looked like the cool, calm, and experienced goaltender who has been here before, while Quick looked like the nervous one. Nevertheless, the offense didn’t show up for the Kings, so it wasn’t going to matter how well or poorly Quick played. Desperate times for the Kings tonight, as they look to avoid a serious 0-3 hole to the hungry Sharks.
L.A. Kings vs. San Jose Sharks NHL Playoffs Pick
Drew Doughty needs to find himself in San Jose tonight, the team desperately needs it. The way I saw it on Saturday, Doughty didn’t look comfortable at all. He is one of those players who always looks like he’s in the zone, but he looked frustrated as ever against the Sharks in game 2. Part of the problem here is the injury to Alec Martinez. This is an overlooked injury which people are choosing to ignore, but it is disrupting their defensive lines. Martinez isn’t an All-Star but he is like the glue that keeps the blue line together for the Kings. The coaching staff had the day off to figure it out. The Red Wings made adjustments, and it came up aces for them against the Lightning in their respective game 3.
When a shark smells blood in the water, they go in for the kill. Can we count on the San Jose Sharks to do that? From their history, no, that is what has been plaguing them in the playoffs in the past, little to no killer instinct. Now that they have the Kings in dangerous territory, are they going to capitalize tonight? If the Sharks win tonight this series is over. If the Kings win, doubt is going to creep in the minds of the Sharks. I think the Kings are going to make the necessary adjustments and pull out a win tonight. Kings win tonight and I see this going 7 games. Otherwise, a Sharks’ sweep might be in the forecast? I forecast a long series, with the Kings bouncing back in game 3.
PICK: KINGS TO WIN +108