Last season, the San Jose Sharks were knocked out of the playoffs in five games at the hands of the St. Louis Blues in a series that was really never all that competitive. Now, the Sharks are going to hope to get a bit of revenge on Tuesday night in NHL betting action, as they return to the scene of the crime in the Gateway to the West.
Of course, if the Sharks are going to get a win in this one, it would be a huge momentum boost for a team that badly needs it. After starting out with 14 points in seven games, there have been just three points and no victories in the most recent seven games. G Antti Niemi really hasn’t slowed down though, as he still has a sub-2.00 GAA and should have two more shutouts under his belt. Instead, he has a shootout loss and an OT loss to show for his work in two games where he posted shutouts through 60 minutes. The rest of the core numbers really are dropping quickly for San Jose as well. The team has averaged just 2.5 goals per game this year, and that includes scoring just three goals in the last four games combined. We can only imagine how much worse things will get if Niemi starts to cave in net, as we just don’t think that he is going to be able to keep up this play over the course of the season.
St. Louis has been up and down this year, but all told, nine wins in 15 fixtures isn’t all that bad. It’s kid’s stuff in relation to what the Central Division leading Chicago Blackhawks have been able to do, but if the Blues can keep the Nashville Predators and the Detroit Red Wings behind them, they’re going to be happy campers. What’s really helping this team out is the efficiency that it has had on the power play. There hasn’t been a more lethal side with the man advantage in the game than St. Louis, as it is scoring on an insane 34.5 percent of its power plays. Six players have at least two power play goals, and the top nine point scorers on the team have at least one strike on the power play as well. Not only that, but RW TJ Oshie and C Patrik Berglund also have shorthanded goals to their credit to boot.
There really isn’t any reason aside from the old “they’re due” logic to back the Sharks. With G Jaroslav Halak nursing a groin injury, and G Brian Elliott never really getting back to the best form in the world, we’ll at least give San Jose a chance at what will be a generous price on a team that has the talent to bust out of this losing skid in a big time way some time in the very near future.
San Jose Sharks @ St. Louis Blues Pick: San Jose Sharks