Date/Time: May 26th, 8:00 p.m. ET
Moneyline: Sharks -125
The Pacific Division has given us a few great teams this year in the playoffs, and fantastic series have ensued as a result. Now, the last two teams standing from this division, the San Jose Sharks and the Los Angeles Kings will meet on Sunday night in what could be one of the best games of the postseason.
Los Angeles has probably been the slightly better of the two teams in this series. G Jonathan Quick came up with his second shutout against the Sharks in Game 5, though he did get a heck of a lot of help from his teammates. Not only did the Kings supply three goals (though the last of the bunch was an empty netter), but they also kept him relatively clean, holding San Jose to just 11 shots in the first two periods of play combined. We have seen the defenders for the Kings do this time and time again versus some of the best teams in the Western Conference, and this is no exception whatsoever. Keep a very close eye on C Anze Kopitar. This is the man that is the key to the Los Angeles offense. This unit can be very good without him. It can be elite with him. Kopitar only put up four points in his first nine playoff games, and he went four straight games without a point and six straight without a goal. He now has two points and is a +2 in the last two games, and he scored what proved to be the game winning goal on Thursday night.
San Jose has to be scratching its head, but at least it can draw some strength from some history. This series looks exactly like the series between the New York Rangers and the Washington Capitals earlier in the playoffs. The home team won the first six games of this series, but by and large, the Caps looked like the better of the two teams. Washington had home ice advantage on its side in Game 7, but it was beaten 5-0. However, the Sharks don’t have a great playoff pedigree on their side, and they are used to bowing out of the second season right around this time. The sharpshooters for the team have to be better than they have been for the most part, and that means getting production from C Joe Pavelski. Pavelski has yet to score a goal in this series, and he was a -2 on Thursday for Game 5. That won’t cut it for a team that has to have its top line doing a lot of damage due to the fact that the third and fourth lines really haven’t done all that much great work in these playoffs.
Though we do think that this series deserves to go seven games, we don’t think that it will. The Sharks look like they aren’t the better of the two sides, and more often than not, we think that LA will take advantage of that and ultimately find a way to get the ‘W’. San Jose can hold its head high for putting up a great fight against the defending Stanley Cup champs, but it just isn’t going to matter come Sunday.
Los Angeles Kings @ San Jose Sharks Game 6 Pick: Los Angeles Kings +115
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.