It isn’t over until “The
Fat Lady Sings”
The Kings host the Sharks on Monday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California with the opening face-off slated for 10:05 PM ET. This will be Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals series in which San Jose leads 3-2. According to my projected NHL betting odds the Kings are -120 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.0.
Still Very Much Alive
The Kings fell behind in this series 3-0 and it seemed to be inevitable that Sharks would close out this series sooner, rather than later. After all San Jose won the first 2-games at home by a combined score of 13-5, and then followed that up with road overtime win to take a commanding 3-0 lead, and would seemingly make what was left of the series a mere formality. However, the Kings have bounced back emphatically, winning both Games 4 and 5 in impressive fashion. The most recent of which was a 3-0 shutout win at San Jose on Saturday that has now sent the series back to Los Angeles for Game 6, where the Kings are 50-23 in their last 73 home games. The most encouraging sign for Los Angeles has been the resurgence of goaltender Jonathan Quick who struggled mightily in the first 3-games of the series. Quick has stopped 62 of 65-shots on goal over the last 2-games, and has seemed to regain his top form which has been him one of the best goaltenders in the world during the recent years. The Kings are now 13-4 in their last 17-games following a win.
Sharks Feeling the
The Sharks looked invisible and in total command of this series just last Thursday following a 4-3 win at the Staples Center. A lot has happened since then which has turned the tide in this series. San Jose was outscored by a wide 9-3 margin in their Game 4 and 5 losses. They scored 17-goals in the first 3-games of the series, but have scored just 3 times over the last 2-games, and were shutout at home in Game 5. Putting things in perspective for San Jose, it’s far from a situation in which they need to panic. They still hold the lead in the series and continue to maintain home ice advantage. They also know if this series is extended to 7-games, they’re 10-2 in the last 12 home games versus the Kings, and 31-13 at the SAP Center in San Jose this season.
This series has obviously done a dramatic 360-degree turn and for good reason. The Kings have begun to impose their will on the Sharks. Los Angeles has returned to playing their style of hockey with stifling defense play, great goaltending, and an effective counterattacking offense. We can’t lose sight of the fact that this is a Kings team which won the Stanley Cup in 2012, and advanced to the Western Conference Finals just a season ago. They’re a confident bunch with a plethora of playoff experience that’s suited to get the job done in Game 6, and send this series back to San Jose for a deciding 7th game.
Free Pick: Kings -120 over the Sharks