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Red Wings vs Sharks Picks – Experienced Red Wings Go Shark Hunting

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/28/2010 2:52:17 PM
NHL odds – Pick Red Wings in Six

Online betting players have lots of faith in Detroit, who were favored in their last series despite being the lower seed, but a team with three Stanley Cup appearances in the last seven years, including two Cups, deserves the benefit of the doubt. That experience will come up big when they faced San Jose in the second round.

NHL betting odds: Pick Red Wings in Six

The Story

The Red Wings could be the most dangerous fifth-seeded team in NHL playoff history after beating Phoenix in seven games, including a comprehensive 6-1 thrashing of the Coyotes on the road in the final game. They’ll be facing the top-seeded Sharks, who came back from a 2-1 deficit to roll over Colorado in six games, and San Jose showed a bit of heart by recovering from potentially-disastrous 1-0 overtime loss in Game 3, when Dan Boyle scored in his own net.

The Red Wings won three of four against the Sharks this season, including both trips to San Jose, and even though San Jose is the top seed, Detroit is the defending West champion and have been to the Stanley Cup two straight years.


Who Has The Edge On Offense: Red Wings vs Sharks?

Sportsbook players have been waiting for Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk to pick up their game, and the duo has combined for 19 points so far. Zetterberg’s 11 points are tied for second in the NHL, while Nicklas Lidstrom is sparking the Detroit power play as he had two goals and an assist in the Red Wings’ clinching game. The Red Wings seem to know when to take it up a notch as the team sleepwalked through the first part of the season, but since the Olympic break, they’re been one of the top two or three teams in the league.

Other players have had to step up for the Sharks so far in the playoffs, like Ryan Clowe and Joe Pavelski, who have combined for 16 points. Boyle, despite his own goal, and Devin Setaguchi have also raised it up a notch, but as per usual, the Sharks’ big players aren’t following suit. Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dany Heatley have nine points between them, and only Marleau has scored a goal. All three of these players played together on the Canadian team that won gold in Vancouver, but they weren’t factors there, either. They just don’t seem to be big-game players, which is a problem.

Edge: Red Wings

Who Has The Edge On Defense/Goaltending: Red Wings vs Sharks?

NHL betting players would normally be skeptical with a team that has a defenceman that turned 40 on Wednesday, but in Lidstrom’s case, they’ll make an exception. Lidstrom is still one of the top five defenseman in the league, and the Red Wings also have Brian Rafalski, Nicklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart, who led the Red Wings in plus/minus in the first round. Jimmy Howard showed some nerves in his first playoff series, but he settled down.

Evgeni Nabokov has a 1.76 GAA in the first round, second only to Philadelphia’s Brian Boucher, while the defense, led by Boyle, played well in front of him. Rob Blake has been a solid veteran presence on the blue line, and as a result, this is probably the best part of the Sharks’ game.

Edge: Draw

Who Has The Edge In Experience: Red Wings vs Sharks

This isn’t even close. The Red Wings have been to the Stanley Cup final two years running, and the amount of Stanley Cup rings on the roster is mind-boggling. Meanwhile, the Sharks are the poster boys for underachieving, having failed to make it past the second round since 2004. They also lost in six games to the Red Wings back in 2007.

Edge: Red Wings

Who Will Win The Red Wings vs Sharks Series?

Given their track history, there is no way that anyone can feel good about taking the Sharks against such an experienced team like the Red Wings. Their only chance is to get through to Howard, but again, you have to go through Zetterberg and Datsyuk, two of the best two-way forwards in the NHL, and then there is Lidstrom and the defense corps. Unless the line of Thornton, Heatley and Marleau get their act together, there’s no way San Jose can beat Detroit over a seven-game series, which is why you should place a sports betting wager on the Red Wings.

Pick: Red Wings in Six

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