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Posted at 10:15 AM EST.
3:05 PM EST. Regulation only. There’s a reason why people refer to the Hockey Gods. Often, even if one team is better, stronger, faster and more talented, they lose, which is why the ability to battle back from adversity is so important. Win or lose, this Sharks playoff run will be marred with controversy. People will say San Jose received all the breaks. Bitter rivals will claim the fix is in. Fans will go back to the calls that happened to fall the Sharks’ way and say it was all luck and maybe that was true against Vegas and even against the Avs to a lesser degree but if you have watched this series, there is no question that the Sharks are the superior team by a wide margin in every area except goaltending.
If you watched Game 4, surely you are aware that the Sharks dominated for 45 minutes after being outplayed in the first 15 minutes. What’s so interesting to us is that the St. Louis was -½ +122 in regulation last game and now the series shifts back to San Jose and the Sharks are taking back a bigger price in regulation than the Blues were in St. Louis? That’s bordering on preposterous and we have to trust that there is an overreaction here to the status of Erik Karlsson. Karlsson was laboring at the end of the game and it looked like his groin wasn’t right. He wasn’t on the ice for a seven-minute stretch in the third period, despite the fact that the Sharks were trailing. It’s possible that all he needs is rest but regardless, even with a banged up Karlsson, the Sharks were dominating in St. Louis and when he wasn’t playing, they dominated some more.
Look, we understand that hockey is a luck-driven sport. If you caught the last 40 minutes of Game 4, you would wonder how in the world the Sharks lost. The Blue Notes best line in this series has been their fourth line of Ivan Barbashev, Oskar Sundqvist and Alexander Steen. That’s how outclassed the Blues are. The Sharks have been skating circles around this beatable team practically the entire series and now it’s time to put these imposters away. We have to remind you that in early January, St. Louis had the NHL’s worst record. Worse than the Senators and worse than the Kings and now they’re in the Western Final because a goaltender caught fire. Jordan Binnington has been tremendous but we’re starting to see some chinks in his armour. The Blue Notes will once again get badly outplayed only this time, Binnington isn’t likely going to bail them out for another 60 minutes. Yeah, the Sharkies have gotten some favorable calls in these playoffs but the Blue Notes do not deserve to be priced like they are because they’re clearly the second best team by a wide margin even if the Sharks are without Erik Karlsson. We have to try and take advantage of a very favorable price.
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SAN JOSE -½ +127 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.54)