Free NHL Picks: Sharks Will Come Out Thrashing But Fade Fast vs. Kings

Dana Lane

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 5:53 PM GMT

Will the San Jose Sharks finally play a complete home game at home? I think they'll at least make an effort to avoid another collapse. My NHL pick inside. 

NHL Playoff Record: 19-12-12

Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks
You have to be impressed with the way the San Jose Sharks played in the first period after taking a surprising 2-0 lead in the series.  You would have thought that Peter Deboer's team would have felt very comfortable but instead Joe Thornton scored 30 seconds into the game and the Sharks looked well on their way to taking a commanding 3-0 series lead.  

We all know that the Kings came back to win this game in triple overtime but the fact that San Jose played a quality first 10 minutes in the first period tells me a lot about the character of this team.  This will be a series that will probably be decided in seven games but the Sharks play early tells me that I can be confident that they will be well prepared. 

With the road team winning the first three games I'm not quite ready to take a chance on San Jose for the game especially with their 18-21-3 home record despite my first period confidence.  

Jonathan Quick has started to look like the Quick of old in the last two games while featuring a 1.48 goals against average and a .943 save percentage. There's a part of me that still doesn't trust Martin Jones with my money despite what he's done in the playoffs.  I started to see a little of the regular season Jones in game three. I just didn't think he had to win many games by himself.  I like the Sharks team a little more than Los Angeles but I still give the edge to Quick in goal. 

The problem with going with the Sharks is you know that the Kings will put back to back quality defensive efforts in at some point in this series and allowing one goal in five plus periods leads me believe that this may be the right time to get in on the Kings for the game.  

It appears that DeBoer is not going to get much production from his depth players. Nick Spaling, Malker Karlsson, and Tommy Wingels haven't been effective putting much of the work load on Thornton and Joe Pavelski. This is not the type of hockey DeBoer's wants to play.  He's always been a coach that would rather roll out four lines with each applying pressure.  It hurts them when they can't rely on their depth. In fact, DeBoer benched his entire fourth line for the third period and overtime sending a clear message that he won't tolerate undisciplined play. 

 

Betting Analytics
From a trend perspective the Kings are on a nice run of winning five of their last seven conference quarterfinals games dating back to last season while the Sharks struggles at home have caused them to drop six of their last eight at the SAP Center.

Playing my NHL picks as safe as I can here, we're going to take a shot with the Sharks in the first period at a small price but play the Kings to even the series up at +110 on the NHL odds boards. @DanaLaneSports 

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Free NHL Pick: Sharks -113 for 1st Period and/or LA Kings +110 all the way
Best Line Offered: at Heritage