NHL Hockey Betting: San Jose Sharks at Pittsburgh Penguins

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

While there won’t be a Canadian Stanley Cup winner this year and the teams from North of the Border were shut out of the playoffs entirely we at least have a rooting interest in this one. Canada’s National Team Captain Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins are trying to win hockey’s biggest price though they face a tough challenge against the rugged San Jose Sharks. The Sharks are something of a surprise finalist. They were good enough during the regular season but it appeared unlikely that they would emerge from a tough Western Conference lineup that included Dallas, defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago, St. Louis and a number of other more ‘serious’ contenders. But here they are.

The Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t look anything like a Stanley Cup contender earlier in the season. They fired their previous head coach, Mike Johnston in December and promoted the coach from their AHL affiliate, Mike Sullivan. The Penguins began to take off at this point and by the end of the season were the hottest team in the National Hockey League winning 14 of their last 16 regular season games. They’ve gone through the Detroit Red Wings, the President’s Cup Champion Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning to reach this point. Sidney Crosby’s scoring has been down in the playoffs but he’s otherwise playing great hockey and helping his team in every phase of the game. He’ll need to continue to do so if the Penguins are going to win the 2016 Stanley Cup.

It won’t be easy. The Sharks have the edge in several important phases of the game. They arguably have the better goaltending with Martin Jones, who has played roughly three times as many games this year as Pittsburgh’s 22 year old Matt Murray has in his entire NHL career. They’ve got the better defensive corps and they may even have more weapons on offense. They don’t have home ice advantage but that’s not a huge concern as the Sharks had the best road record in the NHL this season. They should at least be a ‘pick em’ with the Penguins but they’re a decided underdog. That gives us value and that has us on San Jose. Sorry, Sid…


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