For The NHL Gamblers!
Desperate for a win? The Vancouver Canucks find have already dug themselves a hole, and after losing 3-1 in Game 1 Wednesday night to the San Jose Sharks, they now have to hope to win at least once in San Jose where the Sharks lost just twice in regulation all season long.
Vancouver has now lost five consecutive home playoff contests dating to Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals – ugh!
For San Jose, they will be hoping for more of the same Friday night. For the Canucks, they have to hope to put 60 minutes of hockey together, not 20. They also have to hope that the Sedin’s actually make their presence known, something they failed to do Wednesday night.
#6 San Jose Sharks (25-16-3-4) at #3 Vancouver Canucks (26-15-1-6)
When: 10:00 PM ET, Friday, May 3, 2013
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Broadcast: RDS, TSN, CNBC, CSN-CA
Sharks lead series 1-0
Sharks vs. Canucks Betting Lines from bodog
San Jose Sharks +1½ -250 +129 Ov 5 +129
Vancouver Canucks -1½ +210 -142 Un 5 -142
Headline: Let’s Not Repeat History
The San Jose Sharks, who went just 8-14-2 on the road during the regular season, played just about the perfect road game Wednesday night and subsequently became the only road team thus far to record a win in the playoffs.
Although they didn’t exactly bring the physical brand that has typically given the Canucks fits, they did play a complete game and looked like the better team in Game 1.
Logan Couture was the only obvious difference maker in the game, other than Antti Niemi. He had a goal and an assist – Vancouver had no answer for the best player on either team.
Patrick Marleau scored for just the second time in 17 games Wednesday night too – a sign that things were not going to go Vancouver’s way. One bit of bad news for the Sharks is that Martin Havlat left Wednesday’s game with an undisclosed injury and did not return.
Antti Niemi made 29 saves Wednesday – his domination of the Vancouver Canucks continues. The Canucks were unable to generate much in front of him and were unable to generate the traffic necessary to beat one of the unsung heroes in the league this year. Niemi is a Stud and he certainly loves playing against the Vancouver Canucks!
The Vancouver Canucks scored just once in Game 1 against Niemi and it wasn’t even a Canucks that put it in the goal – Raffi Torres, in an effort to clear the puck, was the only player to get one by Niemi – not nearly good enough for a team with the talent of the Canucks.
The bandwagon is getting emptier by the second – time for the Canucks to respond.
Vancouver continues to struggle to find the back of the net in the playoffs – they scored just eight goals in five games against LA in the first round last year and eight goals in the seven games against Boston in the Final in 2011.
The theme looks to be mirroring itself again. Other areas that they will need to clean up Friday are faceoffs – they were out-drawn 40-30 Wednesday night, takeaways – they turned the puck over eight times to San Jose’s two and the power play – 0-for-2 on the night and seemingly out of sync all night long.
One area in which Vancouver fans shouldn’t worry is between the pipes.
Roberto Luongo was terrific in the loss, stopping 24-of-27 shots against and he was the reason the Canucks were even in the game after the first period.
There is a good chance that Cory Schneider may be between the pipes Friday night but there will be no shame in going back to Lou.
Dave’s Free Won’t Cost You Anything Betting Prediction
A few trends to consider:
• SJ are 14-3 in their last 17 vs. Northwest.
• Under is 7-3-4 in SJ last 14 vs. Northwest.
• SJ are 16-35 in their last 51 road games.
• Under is 9-1-1 in VAN last 11 home games.
• Under is 5-1-2 in VAN last 8 vs. Pacific.
• VAN are 8-2 in their last 10 home games.
The San Jose Sharks played perhaps the perfect road game on Wednesday and given their sketchy history away from home this year, it appears that they will be hard pressed to do it again. That said the Canucks didn’t exactly look like the best in the Northwest in Game 1 – there is nowhere to go but up from Wednesday night’s effort.
Vancouver is 0-3-1 in their last four games overall and has lost three straight on home ice – the bleeding has to stop – doesn’t it?