NHL Hockey Betting: Nashville Predators at San Jose Sharks

NHL Hockey Betting:  Nashville Predators at San Jose Sharks&h=235&w=320&zc=1

This series looked to be going nowhere after the Nashville Predators dropped the first two games to the San Jose Sharks. But the Preds had a trick up their sleeve and won both games in Nashville to tie it up at 2-2 heading into Game 5. Their win in Game Four was epic, as Mike Fisher scored in the third overtime to get the win. San Jose was in a position to win late but Nashville scrapped to tie the game and send it to overtime.

Had Nashville shown the heart and guts they showed during Game Four during the regular season they wouldn’t have been a wildcard team. Tough to sort out the emotional dynamics at work in this one. There’s clearly a fatigue factor after playing nearly six periods of hockey but that applies to both teams evenly. Will the Sharks view the loss as a missed opportunity? How will the Predators respond? In theory, they might be emotionally drained after the 3 OT victory but the same could be said for the Sharks after a 3 OT loss. Is it worse to play all that OT hockey and lose or win?

A couple of other strange situations here. The Predators have never won a playoff game in San Jose. They’ve played well on the road during this playoffs including that Game 7 victory in Anaheim. The Sharks were one of the worst home teams in the NHL during the regular season (18-20-3). They claim that they’re past this home jinx but if nothing else it shows that they’re vulnerable in their own rink.

There’s also the goaltending battle. Pekka Rinne has raised his game during the offseason and is playing better than at any point this season. He was a monster in Game Four with 44 saves including some tough, close range stops in the second overtime. Rinne is a scary goalie when he’s playing with confidence. There were points prior to his knee injury last season where he was just unbeatable. If he’s getting back in this zone it’s bad news for the Sharks.

All in all, we’ll just take the price in what has become an evenly matched series.


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