After another big featured selection winner last night, our fourth in a row, we’re back at it Tuesday evening for a huge Game 7. The San Jose Sharks have fought back from an 0-2 deficit to force a deciding game tonight against the reigning Cup champs, the Los Angeles Kings. This has been an intriguing series thus far, every game has been very hard-fought and tightly contested, with the home team emerging victorious in all six contests. We enter the night now 12-9 with the featured picks during the post-season, and a stellar 46-32 record throughout the entire year. We’ll look to build on that tonight – read below for tonight’s thoughts.
San Jose Sharks (+140) @ Los Angeles Kings (-160)
In a series where home ice has meant absolutely everything, it would be somewhat funny if in the most pivotal game of all, Game 7, it was rendered meaningless. Despite the fact the Kings and Sharks enter tonight’s game with three victories apiece, if you’ve watched the majority of this series it has become quite evident the Sharks have carried the majority of the play. They’ve been the better team for the most minutes on the most nights and expect yet another stellar outing from the men in teal jerseys tonight.
This is a San Jose team that has become far too familiar with post-season disappointments and are ready to flip the script. Their intriguing blend of size and skill has posed problems for opponents all season long and this is a group that remains capable of winning the Stanley Cup. When they were down 0-2 to the Kings at the beginning of this series, their +550 price to come back and win was great value, and we’re sticking to that for tonight’s contest.
San Jose has an abundance of experience in Game 7’s, much more than Los Angeles. These do-or-die games are unique events and expect the Sharks to be the better prepared group from the get go. For many of the Kings’ core players, this will in fact be their first Game 7 and there has to be some uncertainty among that group.
As the series has progressed, the Sharks have become more and more confident. Their breakouts are more efficient, and they’ve done an excellent job of limiting Los Angeles’ scoring opportunities. In Game 6, the Sharks held a potent Kings attack to just 16 shots in the final two periods, with many of them coming from non-threatening areas. San Jose is playing as good of a team game as there is right now in this league, and in a toss-up situation, taking the value with a hungrier team seems like a solid wager.
While many might see a Sharks win as an unlikely feat given the fact the Kings haven’t lost on home ice since March 23rd, a San Jose victory is by no means unattainable. The Sharks definitely should have won Game 2 in L.A. were it not for a questionable call in the waning minutes, and given their recent adjustments, the Kings will have big trouble. San Jose getting Adam Burish back was huge for their group as his size in front of the net and knack for killing penalties is paramount to their team success. Expect more of the same from the unheralded Burish, and look for a balanced team attack to take down the defending champs.
By all accounts, the Sharks enter this game a loose group having fun with the huge opportunity that awaits for them tonight. If you would have told the Sharks that they’d have one game to eliminate last year’s Stanley Cup winners, they all would’ve agreed to that. The chance is there, and at a big, underdog price, it’s time the road team finishes off this series. San Jose has been the better team and look for them to get the win tonight in Los Angeles.
PICK = San Jose (+140)