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Sharks vs. Canucks Game 2 NHL Playoff Picks | Preview

Game 2 Free Playoff Predictions: San Jose Sharks vs Vancouver Canucks

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San Jose Sharks (48-25-9) at Vancouver Canucks (54-19-9)
Date/Time: Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 9:00 PM ET
Venue: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Broadcast: VERSUS (HD), CBC (HD), RDS (HD)
Canucks lead series 1-0
Sharks vs. Canucks Betting Lines from Bodog.com
Spread: Canucks -1.5(+200)
Moneyline: Sharks +135: Canucks -155
Over/Under: 5.5 goals

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Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals goes on Wednesday night with the oddsmakers still heavily leaning the Canucks way. And why not? A fluke mistake by Roberto Luongo resulted in one of the two goals that San Jose scored and I don’t think that it will happen again. Vancouver controlled Game 1 – the Sharks have to be better in all aspect (except goaltending) if San Jose is to have a chance in Game 2.

San Jose played well offensively in Game 1 generating 29 shots against the league’s best defense. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, yes Patrick Marleau played inspired hockey. The big question is whether the Sharks can survive the third period of the game – they have been outscored 9-3 in the third periods of their last four games.

Antti Niemi was brilliant on his way to a 35 save performance. He’ll need a whole lot more support on Wednesday though – there is only so much that he can do.

The Vancouver Canucks looked as expected in Game 1. Their speed became apparent very quickly in the game and their physical game was very effective. Vancouver played a patient and disciplined game (only one power play against) and will be very difficult to stop going forward.

The emergence of the Sedins was probably the biggest storyline for the Canucks after Game 1 – Henrik had a goal and an assist while Daniel had one assist but was dangerous every time that he was on the ice. Ryan Kelser was curiously quiet! The Canuck were still able to role four lines effectively in the gamer making them a handful for the Sharks.

A lot has been made of Roberto Luongo’s puck handling mistake that led to the Joe Thornton goal and maybe too much. Other than a one in a thousand gaffe, Lou was terrific.

NHL Betting Trends:
Over is 12-3-1 in SJ last 16 road games.
Over is 11-5-1 in SJ last 17 vs. Northwest.
SJ are 35-16 in their last 51 overall.
VAN are 14-3 in their last 17 vs. Pacific.
Under is 16-5-3 in VAN last 24 overall.
VAN are 53-23 in their last 76 overall.

Betting Prediction: The San Jose Sharks are definitely getting a good price but don’t be tricked! The Vancouver Canucks still haven’t played their best game in the playoffs and they lead the West final – that’s saying something! Vancouver’s speed was evident in Game 1 and it resulted in the weary Sharks looking tired. Not much will change on Wednesday.

Pick: Vancouver Canucks -155

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