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2011 Stanley Cup Playoff Picks – Kings vs. Sharks

NHL Playoff Betting – Kings vs Sharks Series Preview & Pick

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2011 WESTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS | #7 Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks #2

Playoff Schedule:
Thursday, April 14 at San Jose, 10:00 p.m. TSN, VERSUS
Saturday, April 16 at San Jose, 10:00 p.m. TSN, VERSUS
Tuesday, April 19 at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m. TSN, VERSUS
Thursday, April 21 at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m. TSN
*Saturday, April 23 at San Jose, 10:30 p.m. TSN, VERSUS
*Monday, April 25 at Los Angeles, TBD TSN
*Wednesday, April 27 at San Jose, TBD TSN

Odds to Win Stanley Cup: Los Angeles+2500: San Jose +600
Odds to Win Series: Los Angeles +210: San Jose -280
Season series: San Jose 3-1-2

The playoffs are here – the time of year that most San Jose Sharks fans absolutely hate! One of the biggest playoff underachievers of a generation, San Jose enters the season with fewer expectations – thanks to the Vancouver Canucks. They will take on a Los Angeles team that has been superb defensively this season but lost two of its most potent offensive weapons toward the end of the season – Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar are two enormous omissions from the Kings postseason roster.

San Jose has gone from a one-line squad to a team that features more balance up and down the roster. Gone are the days that the Sharks have to rely on the Thornton line alone – names like Pavelski, Setoguchi and Logan Couture have truly emerged and are as dangerous as the previous studs on the team. Defensively, San Jose has been Top 10 all season and in goal, Antti Niemi has done a good job of proving that last season was no fluke.

San Jose’ offense really came on toward the end of the season to finish 6th in the league in goals for. For most of the season, the Sharks were mired mediocrity but the team stepped on the gas in the second half of the season particularly. The Sharks can and will score goals.

Los Angeles has an enormous mountain to climb. First of all, they have to deal with one of the hotter teams entering the playoffs and second of all they must do so without their best two offensive players – Anze Kopitar and Jason Williams. Needless to say, defense will be the key!

LA will have to rely on their young studs on the blue line and goaltender Jonathan Quick who took the next step this season. With huge hole in their offensive play, taking care of their own zone will be essential to the Kings. We will hear the name Drew Doughty a lot in this series for sure!

Betting Prediction: The Kings showed plenty of moxy last year in the playoffs when they put a scare into the Vancouver Canucks but that was when they were at full strength offensively and defensively. To beat San Jose, the Kings would have had to have been at full strength and they certainly are not there.

Look for the Sharks’ experience in the playoffs to be an X-factor in this series. Not only do they have the “big game horses” up front and on the Blue Line but now the Sharks have the defending Stanley Cup winning goaltender patrolling the crease!

San Jose is just too good is all aspects of the game and the Kings are just too banged up to be able to stay on the same level as San Jose. Could this be the Sharks’ year? I love San Jose in this series but I expect the choke will soon follow – it always does with this team!

Pick: San Jose Sharks -280 in 6

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Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.


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