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Avalanche vs Sharks Picks – Sharks avoid Avalanche to swim into second round

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/13/2010 2:08:09 PM
NHL Odds: Sharks in Six

The San Jose Sharks have long been called the disappointments of the NHL because of their brilliant regular-season play, but then they collapse in the second season. They’ll have their hands full with a young Colorado team that gave the Sharks troubles this season.

Avalanche vs Sharks Odds: Sharks in Six

The Story

Online betting players watched the Sharks and Avalanche split four meetings this year, with the home team winning each time, and three of the four games went over the posted total. The Sharks ended the season on a three-game winning streak and eight wins in their last 10 games, while the Avalanche have dropped three in a row heading into the postseason, and many are wondering if they exerted all of their energy just to get into the playoffs.


Who Has The Edge On Offense: Avalanche Or Sharks?

The Sharks scored 264 goals, 20 more than the Avalanche, and the entire line of Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau all ranked in the top 15 in terms of scoring. They combined for 11 points in four games against the Avalanche, who are led by Paul Stastny’s 79 points, which put him at 18th in the NHL. Rookie Matt Duchene has been a surprise for the Avalanche, who are arguably deeper than the Sharks.

However, San Jose’s big line can singlehandedly dominate this series if they play like sportsbook players know they can, and in Dan Boyle, they have the best offensive defenseman on either team, by far, and he quarterbacks the No.4 power play in the NHL.

Edge: Sharks

Who Has The Edge On Defense/Goaltending: Avalanche Or Sharks?

The Sharks were fourth in the West with 215 goals allowed, and while Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s points dropped in half, he had the best plus/minus of his career and allows Boyle to take risks going forward. In goal, Evgeni Nabokov has definitely improved after a tough stretch following the Olympic break, and some wonder if his terrible performance for the Russians against Canada would affect his mental state. He seems to have it under control now, but he has just a .871 save percentage and a 3.62 against the Avalanche this season.

In Colorado, Craig Anderson took advantage of his chance to be a No.1 goalie in the league, posting a 2.63 GAA and a .917 save percentage. But the Sharks have gotten to him as Anderson as a 3.27 GAA and a .907 save percentage, which isn’t terrible, but it’s not encouraging. There is a nice mix of youth and experience on the blue line, but Kyle Quincey, Ryan Wilson and Kyle Cumiskey are still very young and in their first postseason, which gives a slight edge to the Sharks.

Edge: Sharks

Who Has The Edge In Experience?

The Sharks should have the NHL betting edge in experience, but their postseason experience hasn’t been good. San Jose has won the Pacific in three of the last five seasons, but have reached the Western final just once, back in 2003-2004. The Avalanche had missed the playoffs in two of the last three years season before qualifying this year, and while most of them are inexperienced, that means they’re under no pressure and can play relaxed, and that will give them a chance in this series.

Edge: Even

Who Will Win The Avalanche Or Sharks Series?

The Sharks are the sports betting favorites at -400 in this series, which should be an open and entertaining series. Colorado is still too young defensively to hang with the Sharks for seven games, especially on the road in San Jose where the Sharks are so good. All of the pressure will be on San Jose and they’ll have to deal with their underachieving tag, especially after losing in the first round last year to Anaheim. This won’t be an easy series, and there will be plenty of nervous moments for San Jose fans, but the Sharks will escape.

Pick: Sharks in Six

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