NHL Hockey Betting: San Jose Sharks at Pittsburgh Penguins

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

Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins are off to a 1-0 lead over the San Jose Sharks by virtue of a 3-2 victory in Game One. The game wasn’t quite as close as the score indicates. The Penguins controlled play and outshot San Jose by a significant margin (42-26). Only the stellar play of Sharks’ goaltender Martin Jones kept the game close. Other than allowing a power play goal to San Jose the Penguins played a very solid game.

The line in this game clearly reflects that this is a ‘must win’ for San Jose. It’s interesting to see the Penguins’ lines finally move in response to what happens on the ice. For the entire series with Tampa Bay the prices on the Penguins stayed high even when they were on the verge of elimination. There are definitely advantages to such out of whack lines but it’s helpful to see some line movement in response to actual events.

San Jose is still the value side in this series. The matchup fundamentals haven’t changed and this series is still essentially a ‘coin flip’. Whenever you can get ‘plus money’ on one side of a coin flip you’re getting good value. The Sharks don’t want to go back to San Jose down 0-2 and were a very good road team all season long. They struggled at home during the regular season (18-20-3) but have been a decent home ice team during the playoffs. The Sharks realize that a split here in Pittsburgh would set them up nicely heading back West.

You can make a case that the Sharks have a decided edge in several areas. They have more experienced goaltending with Martin Jones though Pittsburgh rookie Matt Murray continues to play well. They have a deep and experienced blueline corps. They’ve got a more balanced offense that doesn’t rely on a couple of ‘superstars’ the way that Pittsburgh relies on Crosby and Malkin. Worth noting that Phil Kessel has come up huge for Pittsburgh during this series and has helped take some of the scoring pressure off of the two Penguins’ superstars.

San Jose is still the value side and we’ll back them in Game Two.


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