All of the marbles in the Pacific Division could be on the line on Saturday night at the Shark Tank, where the San Jose Sharks are going to try to take down the Los Angeles Kings.
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The Kings had every chance in the world to take control of the Pacific Division once and for all on Thursday night, but they blew leads of 1-0, 3-1, and 4-2 against the Sharks and are now going to have to be scoreboard watching going into the final day of the season. If the Phoenix Coyotes don’t beat the St. Louis Blues in Friday night’s only game, Los Angeles and San Jose will both control their own destinies. The Kings know that two points will make them no worse than the No. 7 seed in the playoffs, but a loss, and they won’t be in any better shape than No. 7 either. There is a heck of a difference between playing the Blues or the Vancouver Canucks in the first round of the playoffs and taking on the Chicago Blackhawks with home ice advantage. Of course, we think that Jonathan Quick is going to be a nightmare to try to beat here in the postseason, and we are surprised that he struggled so badly after such a great year on Thursday. He is still the reason that Los Angeles has one of the top defensive teams in the game, and he will be the reason that the team either does or does not do well in the second season.
It was only a week ago that we weren’t really all that sure that the Sharks were going to get into the playoffs. Now, they know that a win parlayed with the Coyotes dropping a point in one of their final two games of the season will win the Pacific Division and put the team in a position where it will have home ice advantage at least in the first round of the playoffs. The offense picked a great time to explode, scoring 14 goals in the last three games, all of which have come against Pacific Division foes. Sure, the 2.7 goals per game average that this team has is shoddy at best, but we know that San Jose has a heck of a lot of potential. There are a slew of stars on this team that can get the job done, and the squad ranks No. 2 in the league both in terms of shots per game (34.0) and on the power play (21.1%).
Los Angeles Kings @ San Jose Sharks Pick: The Sharks are playing too well right now offensively to be done in by the Kings. They’ll win this game at home and will likely end up winning the Pacific Division as a result.
Free Hockey Pick: San Jose Sharks
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.