The San Jose Sharks and LA Kings head into game 2 with the opportunity for the Sharks to open this series up. The Sharks took down LA in game 1 and now the Kings are in a peculiar position. If they lose this one, they’re going to be down 2-0 before even playing a game in San Jose. However, given how poorly the Sharks have played at home this season, it may be one of the worst advantages a team has had playing at home as long as I can remember.
The Sharks have been a menace on the road, but get home and they decide to lay low and play a different brand of hockey. Note that the Sharks are 29-10-3 on the road and 18-20-3 at home. You figure it out. In any case, this is one team who can live without home ice advantage in the playoffs. We can say that the Sharks have road ice advantage.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the Sharks play at home in the playoffs. I’m interested in seeing how this plays out in San Jose. Nevertheless, if the Sharks head home with a 2-0 or 1-1 lead they cannot sleep on the Kings. The Kings are the ones who have been through the test of the playoffs and succeeded. The Sharks on the other hand have failed to make it through the entire tournament of Lord Stanley. They have come up short numerous times and hope to avoid that once again this season. A trip to the Stanley Cup Finals would be a success for the Sharks. Both the Sharks and Kings have a long road ahead of them before they make it there.
It was a high scoring effort in game 1, with the eventual winner, San Jose Sharks, winning the contest by a score of 4-3. Jonathan Quick needs to be better than that if he wants to lead this team to another Stanley Cup. Many pundits believed that the Sharks were going to see some big regression. However, they went on to finish the regular season with a record of 48-29-6. You don’t get there by mistake, the Kings are a good team. But are the Kings going to be able to overcome a key injury? I will explain more below.
San Jose Sharks vs. LA Kings NHL Playoffs Pick
By all accounts, it is appearing like Alec Martinez is going to be unable to go for the Kings in game 2. The defenseman missed game 2 and it could have had a direct impact on how lousy they played defensively. Drew Doughty was put in a tough spot, having to log plenty of minutes, and tonight it may be the same story for him. Doughty recorded a +/- of -2 on Thursday night. The offense spurred the Kings to their last Stanley Cup, and it might have to come up big for them in game 2. The Kings’ defense just couldn’t keep up when it came to the 3rd period. Allowing 4 goals in a game is uncharacteristic for them, but it’s what can happen when a blue line pairing gets disrupted.
Lately, though, it hasn’t been very uncharacteristic of the Kings. Note that they have allowed 4 goals a game in three of their last four games. In fact, in six of their last ten games, the Kings have allowed 4 or more goals. This isn’t the time of the year the Kings want to have defensive problems, but it’s going to be the result if there is a tired defensive unit out there. Not a good marriage with the Sharks. The Sharks have scored 3 goals per game in their last ten games, including 3 or more goals in seven of their last ten. I’m worried about the Kings’ defense. Martinez needs to get healthy and back on the ice. It should result in yet another high scoring game, putting the Kings in a position where they need their offense to knot this series up.
PICK: OVER 5 GOALS (-120)