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Kings Sharks Betting- No California Love Expected In Sharks, Kings’ Opening Round Series

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/12/2011 4:19:34 PM
kings sharks betting

Although Snoop Dogg may be in attendance for at least a couple of games, it’s unlikely that there will be any California love when the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks meet in the postseason for the first time. These Pacific division rivals split their six regular season games, and after surviving the toughest division in the NHL, both cities hope their respective teams have enough left in the tank to make a deep playoff run.

For the Sharks, it’s a case of overcoming what has been one of the strongest negative trends in recent online sports betting years. San Jose has consistently ranked among the top teams in the Western conference only to fail on the biggest stage of them all, and although captain Joe Thornton has spoke out about how he feels his team is ready to finally make that deep run, there are concerns about their ability to rise to the occasion. Patrick Marleau scored eight goals in 14 playoff games a year ago, but there wasn’t enough contribution from the rest of his linemates including Danny Heatley. San Jose managed to overcome a tough start against the Colorado Avalanche in the opening round to beat the Detroit Red Wings and earn a spot in the Western conference finals a year ago, but it won’t get any easier the second time around.

The one factor that will work in San Jose’s favor is their depth, which the Kings may be lacking heading into the first of the seven-game series. Los Angeles will be without top center Anze Kopitar, and Justin Williams has been out the past couple of weeks with an injured shoulder. Without two of their top scorers, the Kings will be in tough to match up against a potent Sharks’ attack. If they can get Williams back in the lineup and some secondary scoring, Los Angeles could exploit a relatively average San Jose blue line. That won’t happen unless Dustin Penner can find a way to get on the board after closing out the season without a goal in his final 12 games. Penner was brought in from Edmonton to provide a big-bodied presence with a sports betting bonus scoring touch around the net, but has failed to produce so far.

Another key area to consider is special teams, which become crucial at this point in the year. With so much on the line teams will tighten up defensively, and it will be up the powerplay to make the difference. That should work in the favor of a Sharks’ team that ranked second with the man-advantage this sportsbook promo season, although they likely won’t hit at the same rate against the Kings’ fourth-ranked penalty kill. Antti Niemi proved he can hold his own by helping the Chicago Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup a year ago, and should be solid again against Los Angeles. As long as Niemi can remain consistent in goal, the Sharks should find themselves in the second round once again.

Prediction: Sharks in Five

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