Place NHL Picks on Defending Champs in Sharks-Kings Season Opener

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 8:42 PM UTC

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014 8:42 PM UTC

Our resident NHL betting odds guru examines the opening night game between the Sharks/Kings. Read this informative sports handicapping article which is concluded with a NHL free pick against the money line.

Playoff Rematch of 2014 Western Quarterfinals
The Kings will host the Sharks on Wednesday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles with the opening puck drop slated for 10:05 PM ET. According to NHL betting odds, the Kings are a -135 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.5. The Kings have defeated the Sharks in 9 of the 10-games played at the Staples Center over the past 3-seasons. This will be a rematch of the Western Conference quarterfinal playoff series in which the Kings won in 7-games, and became just the 4th team in NHL history to overcome a 3-0 series deficit.


Getting Rid of the Bad Taste in their Mouth
The Sharks will need to have a short memory entering this season, following an epic 2014 playoff meltdown against the Kings. That memory span, and hangover effect, will be tested right off the bat in their season opener against those very Kings. It would be easy for this club to reminisce and dream of what could’ve been, after watching the Kings go on to win the Stanley Cup. It wasted a terrific 2013-2014 regular season that saw them rack up 111-points, and finished 3rd overall in the Western Conference standings. Antti Niemi returns as their #1 goaltender, and is listed as the probable starter for tonight. Niemi went 42-28 a starter last season, and posted a .910 save percentage. San Jose earned at least 1-point in 26 of their 41 regular season road games a year ago.


Defending Stanley Cup Champs in Home Opener
This will certainly be an emotionally charged atmosphere for the L.A. Kings home opener tonight. The fans will witness the unveiling of the new Stanley Cup winning flag, and it will be the 2nd home opener in the past 3-seasons they’ve been fortunate enough to do so. The roster of the defending Stanley Cup champion has stayed virtually intact with the lone notable exception being defensemen Willie Mitchell. The Kings probable starting goalie Jonathan Quick is the backbone of this franchise’s recent success. Quick had a relatively unimpressive 2013-2014 regular season by his standards, but was once again superb in the playoffs.


Final Analysis
It will be a tough task for the San Jose Sharks tonight. They’ve had very little success at the Staples Center in recent years, and have to play the defending champions in their home opener, and what promises to be an electric crowd on this very special night for the Kings organization. My lean here is on the money line home favorite for my NHL picks.

Free NHL Pick: Kings -135 over the Sharks at 5Dimes

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