Maybe Not 7-0, but Knights Will Still Be Too Much for Sharks

Dana Lane

Friday, April 27, 2018 4:18 PM UTC

Friday, Apr. 27, 2018 4:18 PM UTC

San Jose has dropped four of their last five games against Vegas, who have won eight straight against teams with a winning record. It’s Game 2 of their playoff series from Sin City on Saturday night. 

Game 2: Sharks (0-1) at Golden Knights (1-0)Free Pick: VegasBest Line Offered: BetPhoenix

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That’s the first word that comes from my mouth when thinking about Thursday’s Golden Knights 7-0 thrashing of the San Jose Sharks at T-Mobile Arena. The outcome wasn’t a surprise, as I wrote in my game preview, but the outcome has made it difficult for this handicapper who predicted that the Sharks would win the series. Despite the first-round series game record that ended 7-1, I don’t like giving series opinions because, in this case, it forces me to take the Sharks at one point.

Normally I would take the team I think would win the series in Game 1 or 2, but I don’t know how anyone could watch Thursday's beatdown and think the Sharks are close. I have watched every shift of every Golden Knights game, and I can honestly say that this is the best I’ve ever seen this team play.

So, I simply can’t play the Sharks on Saturday night, but that doesn’t mean I’m not sticking to my series prediction even though Pete DeBoer’s team has just a single win vs. Vegas this season.

The Sharks simply need to get out of this madhouse that is T-Mobile Arena. To best describe the atmosphere, it’s like the asylum only let the patients out for hockey games and they don’t know how to handle their freedom except to be crazy for 60 minutes while the hype warden has a microphone daring them to be crazier.

On paper these teams are even, but the deciding difference in my mind was the fourth line for both teams. Despite Thursday's score, Marcus Sorenson, Eric Fehr and Melker Karlsson are a better line from an offensive standpoint than Tomas Nosek, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, and Will Carrier. Vegas coach Gerard Gallant isn’t relying on these guys to contribute offensively, but they’re not a traditional checking line, either.

Gallant wants them to play chippy minutes while keeping opposing goaltenders honest. They played their role perfect Thursday with 5 shots on goal without a score but enough for Gallant to not worry too much about matchups because each line can create offensive chances. Sorenson, Fehr and Karlsson managed to trickle in just four shots in on Marc-Andre Fleury. If San Jose is to have any chance in this series, that fourth line must have an impact.

According to the SBR odds page, oddsmakers have made an adjustment with Vegas opening as a -182 favorite for Game 2. Surprisingly, the public has dropped that number to -173 at 5Dimes and -174 at Pinnacle. This isn’t because they saw something that San Jose can exploit, they’re just betting a contrarian angle. That doesn’t hold true for every book, though, where the number is as high as -190 at Bovada.

I haven’t given up on the Sharks yet, but they have to show me more in order for me to put my name on it.

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