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San Jose Sharks vs. Anaheim Ducks Gambling Preview & Free NHL Picks

Sharks vs Ducks NHL Handicapping

For whatever reason over the past few seasons, the NHL teams from the state of California have been some of the league’s elite clubs. The Sharks and the Ducks join the L.A. Kings as teams that look to make a lot of noise in the upcoming postseason.

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NHL Betting Plays
Date/Time: Wednesday, April 9 2014, 10:30 pm EST
Venue: Honda Center, Anaheim CA
Canadian Line: San Jose +1.5 (1.33), Anaheim -1.5 (3.40)
MoneyLine: San Jose 1.95, Anaheim 1.80

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Anaheim just has everything clicking lately. Bruce Boudreau’s Ducks bring up a bright-eyed youngster from the farm team to play in net (20-year old John Gibson) and he shuts out the Vancouver Canucks last game.

A top line featuring C Ryan Getzlaf and RW Corey Perry is one of the most feared in the game. The Ducks have an engaging young blueliner in Cam Fowler and an ageless wonder in Finnish Olympic hero Teemu Selanne.

It must be good being an adopted hockey fan in SoCal right now.

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But pay heed: The Sharks are no slouch either. The perennial playoff competitors desperately want to win a Stanley Cup for aging veterans like centers Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.

They might just do it too, with Joe Pavelski having a career season (39 goals, 37 assists) “Jumbo Joe” once again leading the team in assists (63) and an unknown goalie really emerging as a force (Alex Stalock, with an 11-5-2 record, a sub-2 GAA and a .930 save percentage to support Antti Niemi).

Add in Marleau, Logan Couture and winger/defenseman ‘tweener Brent Burns, and the Sharks are loaded.

The Ducks and Sharks sit first and second, respectively, in the Pacific division. Along with Boston, St. Louis, Colorado and Chicago, they are among the best teams in the entire NHL.

As a battered Maple Leafs fan in a battered Eastern Conference (the Bruins notwithstanding) it is humbling to sit back and admire such success.
Yet San Jose always seems to come up short in the playoffs. The Sharks fell short in a second-round knife fight with the Kings last season, losing the series four games to three. They must be salivating at their chances in 2014.

The Ducks, meanwhile, have been front-runners from the get-go. Boudreau really has a good thing going in the suburbs of Los Angeles. He has a team built the ideal way – with a couple of franchise cornerstones and valuable veterans mixed in with youth.

Also, whether it has been Jonas Hiller, Frederik Andersen or the newcomer Gibson, the goaltending has been very solid. Anaheim is strong enough between the pipes that it could deal promising Viktor Fasth to Edmonton this year.

These two clubs may just meet in a Western Conference playoff series. Clearly, it would be entertaining.

The NHL regular season is quickly winding down, and with playoff spots locked up for these two clubs, they need only worry about seeding and winning the Pacific.

The Ducks are currently three games up on the Sharks with three remaining. A Sharks win could open things up for San Jose, but a Ducks win would clinch the division crown.

San Jose got shutout by Nashville 3-0 in its last game, so the Sharks will be looking to come out flying in Anaheim.

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The Ducks have a tricky schedule to close out the regular season (San Jose, the L.A. Kings and Colorado are left) but they have been just too good to discount. Their 110 points already tie them with 2006-07 team for most in franchise history – that club went on to win the Cup.

San Jose is a formidable opponent and a rival at that, but I like the Ducks’s chances at home Wednesday night.

Anaheim 4, San Jose 3


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About James Hayes

James has been naming every player on the EA Sports video game rosters for half a decade now, he’s finally putting his knowledge to better use writing for us here at CappersPicks.com. Your comments are welcome below…Give Us Your Take!