NHL Hockey Betting: San Jose Sharks at St. Louis Blues

NHL Hockey Betting:  San Jose Sharks at St. Louis Blues

And we’re back to a 2-2 tie in this series between the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues. The Blues played like a crazed weasel shooting out to a 4-0 lead and up 5-1 early in the third. They’d eventually coast home to a 6-3 win. That sets up Monday’s Game Five at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Jake Allen played well in victory and helped his team withstand a 16-5 shot third period onslaught.

Allen made 31 saves on 34 shots which brings up a very problematic issue in the Blues’ victory–they were outshot 34-27. Of course some of that is due to the third period but teams that think they can cakewalk to the end of a game with a huge lead are frequently given their comeuppance in hockey. It’s just a natural emotional response for the team that leads to ‘relax’ to some extent while the trailing team responds with more urgency. But this is a recurring problem for the Blues–they give up too many shots and they don’t get enough of their own. Granted, the San Jose defense has something to do about that but for a team that went 2 1/2 games without scoring a goal it should be an issue. Given the construction of these teams and what they want to do strategically the Sharks shouldn’t outshoot the Blues.

San Jose can play on the road and play well. They went 0-3 at the Bridgestone Arena during the Nashville series but that’s just an aberration in my view. If St. Louis wants to win this series they need to avoid a ‘letdown’ after the Game Four rout at all costs. Both teams have responded well when tied in a playoff series this year with San Jose at 3-0 and the Blues at 5-1. The Blues have been awful when they lead a playoff series (and for several years now) so the toughness of the series so far could work in their favor.

So how do we bet it? Pretty much like we bet every other game between evenly matched opponents during the playoffs. We take the price. Sharks have won 5 of 7 at the Scottrade Center and there’s no reason they can’t win this one.