The poor Detroit Red Wings tried their hardest to get the series back to Detroit, but the Lightning were the beneficiaries of a poor play by Petr Mrazek behind the net late. Mrazek was good, Ben Bishop was phenomenal, and it took a play like that to break the 0-0 tie with under 2 minutes left. The Red Wings had three breakaways, Bishop turned all of them away. In other news, the Ducks tied the series up, winning both games in Nashville. The Penguins blew the Rangers out and the Blackhawks and Blues are currently in the midst of a 3-3 battle in overtime.
The Blues crawled back from a 3-1 deficit to force an exciting finish. We go to LA where the Kings need to win to stay alive in the series. After the Kings won in overtime to bring the series to a 2-1 series, there was plenty of talk that this is the same old Sharks and they were going to choke that lead away. Well they shut some doubters down, beating the Kings to take this to a 3-1 series. A win tonight would spell the end for the Kings.
The Sharks aren’t out of the woods yet. There is still time for them to blow this series, they’ve done it before. Nevertheless, this does feel like a different kind of Sharks team. Choke isn’t spelt out all over their faces. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau continue to plug away at finding a Stanley Cup. They are the kind of guys you want to see win a ring. So in a way, I am pulling for the Sharks to win it all.
The Sharks should feel right at home tonight, er, well I should say, make themselves feel at home on the road. San Jose dropped the first one at the Shark Tank, and it was like, oh no here we go again. The Sharks, a below .500 team at home during the regular season, made sure there were no issues in the next game to bring this series to 3-1. Now the Sharks can close the series out, at a place they’ve felt so comfortable winning, on the road.
San Jose Sharks vs. LA Kings NHL Playoffs Pick
The biggest challenge facing the Sharks right now is in their head. They have played like the better team for the majority of the series and should close this series out eventually, if not tonight. But there is that demon in the back of their head that is telling them that they are going to blow it. That kind of thought results in playing tight and more times than not, a loss. The Sharks will look for another big effort out of Martin Jones tonight. He may be one of the most underrated, unheralded goalie in the playoffs at the moment. He hasn’t looked rattled at all, he’s look confident in net in his first ever playoffs. Jones had a 2.27 GAA and record of 37-23-4. He isn’t no slouch.
If it weren’t for Jonathan Quick, this series would have been a sweep. He’s bailed the Kings’ sloppy play out frequently against the Sharks. Drew Doughty still hasn’t figured it out. He hasn’t looked so frustrated in his entire career. A goal would settle him down a bit, but the puck hasn’t been able to find the back of the net. Frustration doesn’t help any, which you could liken to a golf swing. I see this game being the most physical yet. Jones and Quick should play out of their minds, with something like a 2-1 final score being the end result. Who wins it? I think you can flip a coin on that one.
PICK: UNDER 5 GOALS (-115)