The Florida Panthers are on the opposite side of the country tonight, as they partake in a swim with the Sharks in San Jose at the Shark Tank. The Panthers have failed to duplicate what they successfully did last year. They were looking like a major playoff contender at this point, but in the 2016-17 season they’re going to have to put some work in to reach the postseason. The Panthers are sitting on the outside at the moment, posting a record of 24-20-5. They are currently 5 points behind the final wildcard spot, which is currently held by the Toronto Maple Leafs. 5 points doesn’t seem like much, but in the NHL that is a small mountain to climb. With the Islanders and Flyers already ahead of them in the pecking order for the final wildcard, they’re going to have to overcome some hurdles.
Note that the Islanders looked dead in the water just over a month ago. They have gone from last in the Eastern Conference to sitting just on the outside of the postseason, so don’t discount the hot Isles. Like a candidate vying for a job, the Panthers have some others in their company looking for a spot. They face the defending Western Conference Champions in California tonight, a team who appear to be ready to make another run in the NHL Playoffs. The Panthers looked good on the road in Nashville their last outing, putting together a 7-4 win in a high scoring affair in Tennessee. They’ll look for more offence when they meet the Sharks on Wednesday night. Let’s get to our NHL betting pick below, as we search for yet another winner in February.
Florida Panthers vs. San Jose Sharks Pick
San Jose are looking every bit as good as they did last year. However, there is a difference between then and now. The Sharks were absolutely horrid at home. So bad, if you are somebody with Sharks’ seasons tickets that didn’t really pay attention to them other than going to games, you’d come to the conclusion that this team is bad. It’s just that the Sharks were that good on the road to make up for their deficiencies at home. They’ve been decent on the road still, but their effort at home has picked up considerably. Note that they are 18-7-1 at the Shark Tank in 2016-17. They still make it to the finals last year, so it doesn’t really matter you could say.
The Sharks have been playing a little off lately, with 1 win in their last five games. They beat the Devils, 4-1, in their last outing to snap out of a four-game skid. Statistically, though, the Sharks have scored 3.10 goals and allowed 2.70 goals in their last ten games. With a .500 record in their last ten, however, the wins haven’t translated. The Panthers have been scoring the puck, averaging 3.20 goals in their last ten games. However, allowing 3.40 will put a dent in them. The Panthers are .500 in their last ten games as well. This looks like a nice opportunity to take the OVER in San Jose.
PICK: OVER 5 GOALS (-120)