Free Stanley Cup Picks: San Jose Sharks vs. Vancouver Canucks Game 1 Predictions
The Western Conference Finals will be underway on Sunday night at Rogers Arena, as NHL betting fans can sink their teeth into the opening game duel between the San Jose Sharks and the Vancouver Canucks.
The Sharks are the seemingly lucky team at this point, as they are the most recent ones to have to fend off a challenge after taking a 3-0 series lead. However, we mustn’t forget that it was the Canucks that were in this exact same boat in the first round of the postseason as well. Still, San Jose just doesn’t feel like it has really gotten going completely yet. Patrick Marleau might be picked up by that gritty goal that he picked up in Game 7 against the Detroit Red Wings. It wasn’t a particularly skilled goal, as he really just picked up a loose puck in the crease and shoved it in the back of the net, but when push came to shove, that was the goal that made the difference in both the game, the series, and the season for the Sharks, and perhaps that will get him going. He was scoreless in the whole series before that points. Antti Niemi has definitely had some problems in the pipes as well, and if he thought that the Red Wings were bringing a high level of offensive firepower, wait until he sees what the Canucks are capable of.
Of course, the scariest thing for the Canucks is that they really don’t have the playoff history to expect success at this level. We know that San Jose has never been to a Stanley Cup Finals, but Vancouver hasn’t been here to the Western Conference Finals since 1994, the year that it lost the Cup to the New York Rangers. The ‘Nucks didn’t get much out of either Henrik Sedin or Daniel Sedin in the second round of the playoffs, but we know that both are capable of some tremendous things. Daniel does lead the team in goals with six, and he does have the second most points on the team with 10, while Henrik does have the third most points on the team with nine. However, it is Ryan Kesler that has brought the Canucks to this point. He has five goals and 10 assists, and it almost felt like all 15 of those points came against the Nashville Predators last round. In net, this might be the time for Roberto Luongo to really shine. And how ironic would that be! This was the year that he was benched in Game 6 of the first round against the Chicago Blackhawks, yet this really could be the year that he finds glory.
San Jose Sharks vs. Vancouver Canucks Pick: We aren’t necessarily sold that the Sharks are winning this series, and we’re really not that sold that they are going to win this game either. However, we know that the NHL odds are on our side for certain. There is no way that we should be getting this type of number in Game 1 in a postseason in which the road team has truly been dominating. We have to go with the Sharks +152.