The Detroit Red Wings are really in a rut right now, as they are down 0-2 in the Western Conference Semifinals against the San Jose Sharks, and they basically need a win on Wednesday night to ensure that they at least have a shot of staying in this series.
The Sharks are in the driver’s seat right now, but they know that the Red Wings aren’t going to be giving up so easily. Jimmy Howard has really been great in net, allowing only two goals over the course of the each of the first two games in this series. He’s really playing the best hockey that he has played in the postseason after a shaky series against the Phoenix Coyotes. The difference now is that the offense just isn’t picking him up the same way that it did against the Yotes. Henrik Zetterberg scored the only goal in Game 2 of this series, but aside from that, there really hasn’t been a heck of a lot to be proud of. Nicklas Lidstrom has the only other goal in the series. Pavel Datsyuk has two assists, while Tomas Holmstrom has a helper as well. But where are the rest of the players in this series? Where are Johan Franzen, Jiri Hudler, Valtteri Filppula, Justin Abdelkader, and the sorts? This was an offense that was that good in the regular season and that good in the first round of the playoffs… The rule of thumb says that it has to happen again at some point against San Jose… right?
Not if Antti Niemi and the Sharks have anything to say about it. Niemi has been an absolute pillar in the posts in this series, stopping 57 of the 59 shots that he has faced against one of the best offenses in the game. Niemi clearly has had a lot of help from his offense in this series, if for no other reason, the fact that the shots on goal category has been awfully lopsided. The big boys are getting the job done, particularly in Game 2. Joe Pavelski lit the lamp once again, while Dan Boyle had a pair of assists. Joe Thornton and Logan Couture both had helpers to boot. The game winner in OT though, belonged to little used Benn Ferriero, and it came just off of a double minor to Justin Abdelkader expired. One had to think that the chance for San Jose was gone when that power play went by the boards, but Ferriero would have none of it, and he was able to net the winner.
San Jose Sharks vs. Detroit Red Wings Pick: This is a chalky, chalky play, but we feel like we have to back the Red Wings on the NHL betting lines in this one. Home ice advantage is huge, and the Red Wings don’t want to get their doors blown off for a second straight year by these guys. That’s going to require stopping this great streak that San Jose is on, which is exactly what is going to happen on Wednesday night. Take the Red Wings -170
Andrew 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.