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

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

The Western Conference Finals get underway on Sunday night as the St. Louis Blues host the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks needed seven games to take care of the pesky Nashville Predators and the Blues needed seven games to dispatch the Dallas Stars. The winner of this series will face the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Making this matchup all the more interesting is San Jose’s bizarre home/road dichotomy. During the regular season the Sharks were the best road team in the NHL. San Jose was 28-10-3 on opposing rinks though they lost all three games at the Bridgestone Arena in the Nashville series. They did win all three games at Los Angeles in their opening round series against the Kings. The problem for the Sharks has been their play at home. They were 18-20-3 at home this season–that’s a worse home record than Central Division bottom feeders Winnipeg (18-19-4) and the Edmonton Oilers who went 19-20-2 on home ice despite finishing with the worst record in the Pacific Division and Western Conference.

So who knows what the reason for San Jose’s home/road schizophrenia really is. The Blues are a tough matchup for them as St. Louis was excellent no matter the venue with a 24-13-4 record at home and 25-11-5 record on the road. San Jose has plenty of talent all over the ice as well as a top notch goaltender in former Kings’ backup Martin Jones. Then again, the Blues are also loaded–they might not have as many scorers up front as do the Sharks but Vladamir Tarasenko is a beast and St. Louis has displayed a nice knack for getting goals from all over the roster when they need to. And as good as Martin Jones is in my opinion Brian Elliott is marginally better. Elliott has had one ‘meltdown’ this postseason (Game 6 against Dallas) but played like a viking in the Blues’ Game Seven victory.

This is a good matchup but St. Louis looks to be just a bit better than San Jose. Look for the Blues to win Game One and eventually take this series.