Free NHL Pick: Expect High Score In Blues vs Sharks Over 5

Saturday, May 21, 2016 2:00 PM GMT

The St.Louis Blues trail the San Jose Sharks 2-1 in the best of seven series with game four taking place tonight at the SAP Center in San Jose and we have your NHL Pick here!

There won't be any excuses tonight if the Blues don't put their "big boy pants on" a phrase Head Coach Ken Hitchcock likes to use. At -155 in most spots the NHL odds have make the Sharks fairly large favorites which has left me in a Blues or nothing scenario. I'm more confident taking a shot with the Blues in the first period at +125 due to the fact that it's reasonable to anticipate the best effort out of the Blues to start the game. I'm not as confident that they can contain the Sharks speed for 60 minutes although the Blues at +140 is worth a shot. I blindly believe in their resiliency and Ken Hitchcock as a head coach.

Hitchcock's first move was announcing that Jake Allen will start in goal for the Blues while Brian Elliot sits. An obvious move to shake things up in a 'must-win' game. Before we blindly bet the Sharks because we think the back-up is starting let's not forget that Jake Allen was the starter for most of the season before injuries forced him to the sidelines. When Allen returned he found Brian Elliot was playing to well to justify Allen regaining his starting spot. Although Allen is more than capable of stealing a game for the Blues he has only played 50 minutes in the postseason which gives me stamina concerns. It's conceivable that he may steal a game but I don't think it will be of the low scoring variety.

St.Louis didn't get many chances to put the put behind Sharks goaltender Martin Jones in game three mostly because of their inability to put the put in deep. I think you will see the Blues dump the puck in more but in order for this to be effective you have to have guys that are willing to go in the corner and win some battles. People wonder why Vladimir Tarasenko's playing time is low considering he's their superstar. The reason is the playoffs are a different level of physicality. Tarasenko was beaten to the puck many times when the Blues shot it in deep even with a step on the defensemen. The battles in the corners of the Blues offensive zone in the first period will tell you what kind of heart Hitchcock's team is bringing in game four.

I really don't think the Blues are that far behind when you consider that they only allowed 16 total shots in game three and only 20 through through the last two. They have not allowed the the Sharks potent penalty kill to beat them allowing only two goals in 19 power play attempts.

Although it appears that the Sharks have a definitive advantage, especially in neutral zone speed, the numbers tell a story of two teams they are more even. Lets take a shot win the Blues first period and the 'over with a smaller play on St.Louis for the game.

I anticipate the St.Louis Blues best effort in game four of this series will be over so I'll add them to my NHL picks.

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Free NHL Pick: Over 5 +116
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline
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