The New York Rangers have split six games since snagging Martin St. Louis from Tampa Bay and they are hoping that the veteran sniper can help keep them in the playoff race in a tight Eastern Conference.
The San Jose Sharks Can Win Because….
The Sharks have won five in a row, and there is definitely something to be said about momentum – especially at this time of year. However, San Jose knows that they are going to be judged on what they do in the postseason, so they would do well to pace themselves. The Sharks can battle teams in an offensive shootout (seventh in the league in goals scored) and a defensive tussle (fourth in goals against), so they are far more versatile than the Rangers, who can’t say the same.
If there is a knock on the Sharks, it is that they are 22nd in the NHL on the power play, which is surprising considering the offensive firepower they have. They are one of the league’s best when it comes to playing five-on-five, so as long as they stay out of the box on Sunday, they should take care of business and cash for your sports picks.
Take a look at the top NHL Stanley Cup Betting Lines available!
The New York Rangers Can Win Because….
St. Louis boosts their offense, which is just what they need. As their offense goes, so go the Rangers: in the six games since acquiring St. Louis, the Rangers have won when scoring three goals or more, but lost twice by scoring one goal, and two in an overtime loss to Toronto in St. Louis’ debut. The Rangers have an all-world goalie in Henrik Lundqvist, but he can only do so much. The Rangers are ninth in the league in goals against and Lundqvist is still one of the top two or three goals in the NHL. The offense has to help him out though and that is where St. Louis comes into play. He should have a chip on his shoulder after everything that went down in Tampa Bay and his General Manager, Steve Yzerman, who initially left him off Team Canada. There are a lot of people criticizing St. Louis for wanting to leave the Lightning, which means there are a lot of people to prove wrong for a player that has been doing it his entire career.
But at their core, the Rangers are a defensive team and are good at stifling the opposition, and they’ll want to avoid a back-and-forth game with San Jose, who are far more equipped to play a 6-5 game. This will be a huge game for the Rangers, on home ice, to see where they are.
Outlook & Pick
The Sharks are on a roll right now as they’ve won five straight. Their offense is red-hot as they’ve tallied 23 goals in those games and have scored at least four in each outing. The Rangers are still hit-or-miss with their offenses, so take the Sharks on the NHL odds as they’re the better of the two teams right now.
Pick: Sharks -105 at Bodog