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

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

The St. Louis Blues are in the proverbial ‘do or die’ situation on Wednesday night in San Jose. The Sharks have a 3-2 advantage and can eliminate the Blues with a win here. It’s been a strange run for both teams this year. The Blues were neck and neck for the Western Conference lead all year. They beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in 7 games then beat the Western Conference regular season champion Dallas Stars in 7. San Jose looked like a ‘good but not great’ team for most of the year. They didn’t look exceptional during the playoffs. They beat a slumping Los Angeles Kings team but needed 7 games to beat the erratic Nashville Predators. But no matter how ‘ugly’ their wins were here they are one game away from the Stanley Cup Finals.

Brian Elliott will be back between the pipes in this game. The 6-3 loss in Game five pretty much sealed Jake Allen’s fate, at least for this game. The Blues are a very talented but very hard team to figure out. They go through stretches were they completely lose focus, confidence or some combination thereof. Other times they look like one of the best teams in the league. That pretty much is an indictment of head coach Ken Hitchcock and captain David Backes. Backes is one of the classiest guys in the NHL off the ice but if he can’t keep the mood in ‘the room’ energetic and positive that’s on him. A number of times during this playoff run it has looked like the Blues wanted to be anywhere else but playing hockey.

One thing about St. Louis is that they’ve bounced back from bad performances well this year. After a loss by two or more goals they’re 15-8 and they’ve won both times they’ve been trailing in a playoff series. The need to get shots on goal–San Jose held them to 21 in the last game. They also need to not let San Jose dominate special teams (2 PPG in 3 chances last time out). At this price, we’ll take the Blues despite their shortcomings and look for this series to go seven games.