2016 NHL Futures – Series Picks
Looking for Sharks vs. Kings free series predictions & playoff picks? You’ve come to the right place if you’re searching for NHL Futures. It almost seems like it wouldn’t be an NHL Playoffs without the San Jose Sharks vs. L.A. Kings meeting. Cappers Picks covers all 2016 NHL Playoff series – so check back as we’ll be adding more.
NHL Lines & Matchup Insight
NHL Betting – Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks First Round Series Preview and Picks
One of the more intriguing First Round series of the NHL playoffs begins Thursday when the San Jose Sharks meet their old nemesis Los Angeles Kings with hopes of snapping years of playoff futility, particularly against their California foe.
The Kings have had a knack of rising to the occasion in the postseason and will be looking to avenge a 2014-2015 season in which they somehow missed the playoffs while the Sharks hope to beat a team that has eliminated them the last two times they’ve met in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
San Jose won four of five games during the regular season, outscoring the Kings 18-13.
Will that trend continue or will Los Angeles’s postseason magic write another chapter staring with the Sharks? Let’s break it down.
Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks Series Lines
San Jose Sharks +135
Los Angeles Kings -155
Sharks vs. Kings Series Schedule
- Thu 4/14, 10:30pm: SJS @ LAK | CNBC, CBC, TVA Sports
- Sat 4/16, 10:30pm: SJS @ LAK | NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports
- Mon 4/18, 10:30pm: LAK @ SJS | NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports
- Wed 4/20, 10:30pm: LAK @ SJS | USA, CBC, TVA Sports
- *Fri 4/22, TBD: SJS @ LAK | TBD
- *Sun 4/24, TBD: LAK @ SJS | TBD
- *Tue 4/26, TBD: SJS @ LAK | TBD
Sharks vs. Kings Free Series Predictions: Forwards
The Los Angeles Kings have prided themselves on being one of the tougher teams in the NHL to defend. As in years past they are big, they are fast and they are bruising.
The line of Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli and Milan Lucic is as tough to defend as any – size, speed and skill allowed Carter to be a 20 goal scorer again and for Toffoli to score 30 for the first time in his career.
Anze Kopitar is perhaps the most gifted of the Kings forwards in both ends of the rink – he could be the difference maker in the series.
Tanner Pearson has been OK, the injured Marian Gaborik should be back and Vincent Lecavalier and Dustin Brown are proven players that will need to step up for the Kings to have a long run in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Simply put the Kings have the horses to make some noise in this series but we haven’t seen the best of the depth players so far this year. It is reasonable to expect four lines to show up in the postseason but then again it is possible for them to remain unflattering.
Only time will tell.
The San Jose Sharks were the fourth best offense in the NHL during the Regular Season scoring 2.89 goals per game. Joe Thornton (89 points) and right wing Joe Pavelski (38 goals and 40 assists) had terrific seasons and linemate Tomas Hertl has the size and the skill to be a major factor against Los Angeles.
Logan Couture who missed 30 games with a broken leg, a thigh injury and internal bleeding, Patrick Marleau and Chris Tierney along with Thornton give the Sharks perhaps the best set of centers in the NHL.
While Joel Ward, Dainius Zubrus, Nick Spaling, Joonas Donskoi, Melker Karlsson and Tommy Wingels provide some solid depth for a Sharks team that made San Jose one of the most feared offensive units in the game.
Verdict: The Sharks have the edge up front in this series – the numbers don’t lie. The Kings were plagued by inconsistencies all season long – the Sharks were solid from beginning to the end of the season.
Sharks vs. Kings Free Series Predictions: Defense and Goaltending
The Kings have Drew Doughty – one of – if not the best defenseman in the game. He is and will be a difference maker for the Kings.
Brayden McNabb took his game to a different level alongside Doughty this past season and Alec Martinez and Jake Muzzin are a terrific second pairing. Luke Schenn and Rob Scuderi could be the best third defensive pairing in the NHL.
All together the Kings ranked third in terms of goals against during the Regular Season – Los Angeles is deep and talented on the back end for sure.
And then there is Jonathan Quick. He won a franchise-best 40 games this past season and always seems to save his best for the playoffs. Quite simply Quick is a big-league player capable of carrying his team a long ways in the playoffs.
The San Jose Sharks defense, although they may not be at the level of the Kings have been decent – a far cry from where they had been in years past. Led by Brent Burns who entered the Norris Trophy conversation the Sharks should be able to hold their own against the Kings.
Paul Martin, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Justin Braun and newcomer Roman Polak definitely make the Sharks formidable to say the least. San Jose will have to be good, not great against Los Angeles and this unit seems more-than-capable of that.
The Sharks will roll with Martin Jones and James Reimer between the pipes – a quietly superb duo. Jones was 37-23-4 record, a 2.27 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage and Reimer was 6-2-0 with a 1.62 GAA and three shutouts in eight games with the Sharks after being acquired from the Leafs.
Verdict: The Kings have the edge on the back end but the gap isn’t nearly as drastic as many people think. LA’s defense is the hallmark of their team but even they will have a difficult time slowing down the Sharks.
Sharks vs. Kings Free Series Predictions:
Playoff success is defined by special teams – period.
The Sharks power play was among the best in the league all season long – they should have success against LA’s middle-of-the-pack penalty kill.
Although the Sharks penalty kill was a tad sketch again, LA’s inconsistent offense will have a difficult time scoring even with the man advantage.
My guess is that Martin Jones steals a game or two for the Sharks and San Jose’s offense is the difference here.
For the first time in six years the Kings enter the playoffs looking like an average team. It’s time for the Sharks to exorcise their playoff demons – the law of averages is on their side!
Take the Sharks in seven hard-fought games
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