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Blues Sharks Betting – Sharks’ Experience Will Be The Difference In Opening Round Versus Blues

Posted by Don Melrose on 6/5/2014 4:28:09 AM

The St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks were among the biggest surprises in the Western conference this season, but for entirely different reasons. The Blues overcame a rough start and coaching change to finish second in the conference in points after allowing the fewest number of goals against this season, while the Sharks trended in the opposite direction, failing to live up to lofty betting sites expectations and surviving a tough final month of the regular season to clinch the seventh spot in the West. It won’t get any easier for San Jose in the playoffs as they match up against a St. Louis team that dominated them by winning all four games in the season series, as the Blues outscored the Sharks 11-3 in the process.

St. Louis was among the biggest surprises in the NHL this season for many reasons, but none was bigger than the team’s collective 1.9 average goals against, which was easily the best in the league. The goaltending tandem of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott ranked among the best in the NHL, with Elliott posting a ridiculous 1.56 goals against average splitting starts with Halak, who finished with a 1.97 goals against after being exposed to the brunt of the Blues’ early season struggles. St. Louis finished with one of the best home records in the NHL at 30-6-5, including its two games against San Jose, and you have to think that they will be one of the hungriest young teams with the critics arguing they aren’t for real.

While they weren’t able to play with the same intensity that the Blues maintained throughout the course of the regular season, the Sharks have to be feeling good about the advantage they should have in the experience department after contending in the West over the past couple of seasons. San Jose ranked second on the power play in the regular season and should hold a strong advantage in that department if they can just manage to improve somewhat on their 29th-ranked penalty kill. While St. Louis was the league’s most dominant team defensively, they also struggled on offense at times, and the Sharks ranked eighth in goals allowed. If San Jose can maintain its strong power play numbers while shutting things down 5-on-5, they will give the Blues a tough test in their opening round online sportsbook series.

In the end, the Sharks’ late season struggles could potentially help the team in the long run, as a team most people predicted would be a Stanley Cup contender back in September flies under the radar heading in to the first round. After back-to-back conference finals there is no doubt that San Jose has the advantage in terms of experience, and that could be the key different in what should be a tight-checking series. The Blues were one of the surprise teams in the NHL this season and should be proud of everything they have accomplished. However, this is a new season altogether, and the battle-tested Sharks have the sports betting sites edge based on special teams and experience.

NHL Betting Pick: Sharks In Six

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