Last year, it only took five games for the San Jose Sharks to finish off the Detroit Red Wings in the postseason. This year, they’ll look to better that mark on enemy ice, as they can cap off the sweep and bust out the brooms in Motown on Friday night in NHL playoffs betting action.
There’s just something about the way that the Sharks are playing right now that is hard not to love. Sure, they really haven’t looked like a dominating side in this series, winning all three games by just one goal, and two of those of which have come in OT, but this is playoff hockey, and you have to figure out how to win these tight games when push comes to shove. San Jose’s 4-3 OT win on Wednesday night marked its whopping fifth victory in OT in the playoffs, easily the most amongst any team in the league. Two more wins in OT matches the 2002 Carolina Hurricanes and the 2003 Anaheim Mighty Ducks for the second most OT wins in a postseason in NHL betting history, while the Sharks still have a long, long way to go to catch the record of the 1993 Montreal Canadiens, who won 10 games. Of course, this is all a true testament to Antti Niemi, who has really been a pillar in the posts when all of the marbles have been on the line, and he might be the very key to the puzzle that has been missing for all of these years in San Jose’s failed Stanley Cup runs.
It’s really hard to pick out any one particular thing that the Red Wings are doing wrong in this series, but it is fairly clear that there is no one on this team that they’ll be golfing with at the end of the season. San Jose has now won six straight meetings in this series, the last five of which have come by a combined six goals, and in the last two seasons, the only games that the Wings were able to claim in this series have been due to the fact that the offense has exploded for 5+ goals. Mike Modano, a veteran who has been in this game for over 20 years, very well could be in his last game tonight, as he is contemplating retirement. Modano has only been on the ice in one game in this postseason and has just one assist. Pavel Datsyuk is the leader of the team in points with nine, and he is tied for the team lead in goals with three. Jimmy Howard has a relatively respectable 2.48 GAA, but it just doesn’t feel like he is anywhere near the better goalie when push comes to shove in this series.
San Jose Sharks vs. Detroit Red Wings Pick: The Red Wings have to win a game in this series at some point… right…? Detroit has a squad that in no way should be down 3-0 in this series, and we can’t imagine that it is just going to fold up shop against a team that is becoming a hated rival on its home ice. No, they’re not going to win this series when push comes to shove, but the Red Wings -130 is still a nice play on Friday night to send this series back to the Shark Tank.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.