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2011 Stanley Cup Playoff Picks – Red Wings vs. Sharks

NHL Playoff Betting – Red Wings vs Sharks Series Preview & Pick

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2011 WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS | #3 Detroit Red Wings vs. San Jose Sharks #2

Playoff Schedule:
Friday, April 29 at San Jose, 10:00 p.m. VERSUS, TSN
Sunday, May 1 at San Jose, 3:00 p.m. NBC, TSN
Wednesday, May 4 at Detroit, 8:00 p.m. VERSUS (JIP), TSN
Friday, May 6 at Detroit, 7:00 p.m. VERSUS, TSN
*Sunday, May 8 at San Jose, 8:00 p.m. VERSUS, TSN
*Tuesday, May 10 at Detroit, TBD VERSUS, TSN
*Thursday, May 12 at San Jose, TBD VERSUS, TSN
* denotes if necessary

(2) San Jose Sharks (48-25-9) vs. (3) Detroit Red Wings (47-25-10)
Odds to Win Stanley Cup: San Jose +400: Detroit +450
Odds to Win Series: San Jose -115: Detroit -115

The Detroit Red Wings will get their chance to avenge what was by all accounts a premature ending to their 2010 season – a five-game Conference semi-final loss to these same Sharks. The difference this season is rest. Last year, the Wings started their series the day after an uber-difficult series against the Phoenix Coyotes – this season they dispatched Phoenix in four games and waited for the Sharks to end their series.

So, for the Sharks it is a classic rest vs. rust scenario as they enter Round 2!

As far as the season series goes between the teams the Sharks and the Wings, San Jose won three of four and have won seven of none games going back to last year’s playoffs. As far as the playoffs so far, the Wings looked great in dispatching the Coyotes in four games while the Sharks struggles at times and were stretched to six hard fought games against the Kings. Both teams are right where they would like to be ahead of the marquee showdown of the second round – healthy and going in with some rest.

San Jose’s offense has been a true committee throughout the postseason so far – 15 of the 20 skaters on the roster registered at least one point against Los Angeles. Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Dany Heatley, Joe Pavelski, Devin Setoguchi, Ryan Clowe and Logan Couture will pose problems for the Wings – they are deep, talented and they are physical. The Sharks had no problems getting up for their games – they outscored the Kings 8-1 in the first period of the six games they played.

Goaltending could be the difference in the series and despite leading Chicago to the Cup last season; Antti Niemi is certainly not at the top of his game. Against Los Angeles, Niemi registered a 3.99 goals against average and a poor .863 save percentage.

The Detroit Red Wings also feature a balanced scoring attack. 16 of the 19 skaters registered a point in the four games against Phoenix – all without the services of Henrik Zetterberg and a 100% Johan Franzen. The extra time off was beneficial for the veteran Detroit – Zetterberg and Franzen should be good to go for Game 1. Detroit looked awesome in their sweep of the Coyotes and hopes are that a layoff hasn’t squashed any of their momentum.

Goaltending definitely favors the Wings in their second round series – Jimmy Howard was solid and registered a .915 save percentage.

Betting Prediction: This has all the making of a dandy series featuring two great offenses that have a number of game-changers. Depth is a huge storyline ahead of the series but the edge has to go to the Wings. Detroit’s fourth line of Kris Draper, Justin Abdelkader and Patrick Eaves should be able to control San Jose’s fourth line of Jamal Mayers, Scott Nichol and Ben Eager in this one.

With Antti Niemi struggling and the Wings clicking, Detroit should be able to avenge last year’s disappointment at the hands of the Sharks.

Pick: Detroit Red Wings -115 in seven games

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Comments

Comments

  1. Kings Fan says:

    “The Sharks had no problems getting up for their games – they outscored the Kings 8-1 in the first period of the six games they played.”

    I think you made a little mistake. In fact, the Sharks were outscored by the Kings 8-1 in the first period in the six games they played.

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