Posts Tagged ‘San Jose Sharks’

Western Conference Quarterfinals – Game 1 – Sharks vs. Blues

April 12, 2012

San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues meet at Scottrade Center, Saint Louis, Missouri (7:30 PM ET, April 12, 2012) in the Western Conference Quarterfinals – Game 1. In the last 10 matches, San Jose has a 7-3-0 record while, St. Louis 4-3-3 record. The best betting odds have Sharks 7/5 and Blues 4/6.

St. Louis had win all four regular-season matchups and dominated in the process. In either game at Scottrade Center, the Blues did not allow a goal, with Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak each recording a shutout. Alex Pietrangelo led all scorers with 5 points and 2 goals.

The Sharks had to scratch and claw over the final weeks just to get in for an eight straight year, while the Blues’ postseason berth was never really in doubt the second half of the season. San Jose won its final four regular-season games; therefore, the respective senses of urgency seemed to be evident in their respective play. The wins include a home-and-home sweep of Pacific Division rival Los Angeles. St. Louis on the other hand dropped four in a row before winning its finale against Dallas.

Against a club that led the NHL in goals-against average (1.89) and allowed 14 fewer goals the next-best team during the regular season, the Sharks must figure out how they are going to win one game. It’s the experience of the returning nucleus that led the Sharks to back-to-back appearances in the Western Conference Finals the past two years is one thing that could give San Jose a distinct advantage in this series.

Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski and Dan Boyle are some of the players who will play a crucial role in this series. Goalie Antti Niemi was part of last year’s squad that lost to Vancouver. He led Chicago to a Stanley Cup title as a rookie. The Sharks have come off consecutive extra-time wins against a fierce rival that was also battling for positioning and there is the fact that they have been in playoff mode for weeks now.

Elliott is expected to dress for St. Louis, while San Jose forward Torrey Mitchell (upper body) is considered likely to play in the series opener. For the first time in their history this season, they had three 30-goal scorers, as Logan Couture, Pavelski and Marleau.

This season, T.J. Oshie and David Backes led the Blues with 54 points. Backes had a team-leading 24 goals. St. Louis team does have veterans like Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott who have lifted the Stanley Cup before, although this is only the second postseason appearance by St. Louis since the work stoppage.

Weekend Clash Between Colorado Avalanche And San Jose Sharks

February 17, 2011

This weekend in a game between two Western Conference teams, the San Jose Sharks will battle against the Colorado Avalanche. With a record of 31-21-6 on the season, the Sharks are the 7th best team in the league in terms of record this season. This season, the Avalanche are the 2nd worst team in the conference.

While Colorado is way back at 100-1, San Jose is at 16-1 in NHL betting lines Odds to win the Stanley Cup this season.

Despite the fact that they are near the cellar of the conference, interestingly enough, the Avalanche are not all that bad. On the season, they are actually just one game under .500 at 25-26-6. They have been outscored by their opponents by 24 goals this season while their record isn’t terrible.

Even though the Sharks are not very dominant in many aspects, they are a pretty solid team on all fronts. By limiting the Shark’s power play opportunities is the key to limiting the productivity of their offense. By converting 21.9 percent of the time, the 4th best average in the league, they are a very effective team on the power play.

As the Western Conference playoff picture is extremely crowded, the Sharks need to pull out wins against weaker teams like Colorado. Even though the Avalanche can definitely play the role of a spoiler this season, they may not be able to make a run for the playoffs with so many teams in contention.

Although the Avalanche are allowing 3.4 goals per game, they are excellent offensively. If the Sharks allow the Avalanche to set the pace of this game, this game could turn into a shootout.