Featured Video from Scott Reichel
San Jose Sharks vs. St. Louis Blues
NHL: Tuesday, May 21, 2019, Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Missouri, 8:00 PM ET
The San Jose Sharks and the St. Louis Blues will lock horns in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri, Tuesday night. The Blues lead the series 3-2 following a great performance in the previous clash in San Jose, so it’s a win or go home situation for the Sharks who have to find some fuel in their tank to force Game 7 on the home ice.
The injuries push San Jose to the brink of elimination
The San Jose Sharks (56-35-10) were blown away by the Blues 5-0 at home in Game 5 of the Western Conference on Sunday afternoon. The Sharks had just 21 shots towards Jordan Binnington, while they allowed 40 shots in a return, so Martin Jones did a solid job with 35 stops and a .875 save percentage. However, the Sharks have an excuse, as Tomas Hertl, Joe Pavelski, and Erik Karlsson all couldn’t finish the game due to injuries. The Sharks coach Peter DeBoer didn’t specify if this trio will travel to St. Louis for Game 6, but he obviously wasn’t optimistic about the current situation. All these three guys are a big part of the Sharks’ play.
Center Joe Pavelski has already missed six games this postseason, scoring four goals along with five assists in 13 outings, while he bagged a team-high 38 goals in the regular season. Defenseman Erik Karlsson made 14 assists in 19 showings in the postseason along with a couple of goals, while center Tomas Hertl added ten goals and five dishes. Center Logan Couture and defenseman Brent Burns will lead the Sharks in Game 6. Couture scored 14 goals along with six assists in 19 playoff appearances, while Burns made 11 assists and bagged five goals while spending almost 29 minutes on the ice per contest. Goalie Martin Jones has recorded ten wins and eight losses in 18 outings this postseason with a 2.96 GAA and a .902 save percentage.
The Blues need one more strong display to reach the Stanley Cup Finals
The St. Louis Blues (56-33-11) bounced back from an unlucky 5-4 loss in Game 3 to win the next two encounters and get one step away from their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance since 1970. Also, this is a great opportunity for the Blues to get a payoff for a 4-2 loss to the Sharks in the 2016 conference finals. The Blues completely dominated their rivals in Game 5, taking 40 shots towards Martin Jones, while Jordan Binnington recorded his first-ever playoff shutout with 21 saves. After winning the 1st period 1-0, the Sharks pulled off in the 2nd period with a couple of goals and hammered the Sharks with two more goals in the 3rd period.
Winger Jaden Schwartz is the Blues’ key player in this postseason with 12 goals and four assists. Schwartz proved his excellent form with a hat-trick in Game 5, while he bagged just 11 goals during the regular season. Winger Vladimir Tarasenko has seven goals and five assists in 18 playoff outings including one goal and a couple of dishes in Game 5. Goalie Jordan Binnington continues to impress, recording 11 wins and seven losses this postseason with a 2.44 GAA and a .912 save percentage, while he was brilliant in the regular season with a 24-5-1 record, a 1.89 GAA, and a .927 save percentage.
St. Louis Blues:
- 11-5 in the last 16 games at home
- 4-1 in the last five home encounters with the Pacific Division
San Jose Sharks:
- 3-13 in the last 16 road contests in May
- 3-6 in the last nine playoff games as underdogs
- 4-8 in the last 12 outings on the road
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Sharks have some huge injury problems which could cost them a lot on this one. On the other side, the Blues can count on all their important players and they look sharp and ready to defeat the Sharks and finish the job on the home ice. Also, Jordan Binnington is playing in a tremendous form, so I’m backing the Blues to beat the wounded Sharks by two or more goals at some tempting wages.
Prediction: St. Louis Blues -1.5 (+180)
Full-Game Total Pick
The Sharks’ offense will be quite short-handed if they miss Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl, but they have to find the way to score against the Blues’ tough defense and excellent Jordan Binnington between the pipes. On the other side, the Sharks will have a tall task to slow down the Blues’ offense that has improved a lot lately. San Jose’s defense is vulnerable all season long, so I’m taking the over, expecting to see a high-scoring affair.
Prediction: Over 5.5 (+110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
The Blues have won the 1st period in three of five games in this series including the previous two outings when they kept their net intact over the first 20 minutes. The Sharks have lost the 1st period just once in their last six outings on the road, but I think the Blues will storm the front on this one. With all injury problems among the Sharks, I’m taking the Blues to win the 1st period tonight.
Prediction: St. Louis Blues -0.5 (+155)
Half-Time Side Pick
Three of five games in this series had two or more goals in the 1st period. Four of the Blues’ last five outings at home saw two or more 1st-period goals, while three of the Sharks’ last five showings on the road saw at least two goals in the 1st period. The Blues’ defense could make this wager a tricky one, but an early opener will easily lead to another goal in the 1st period, considering the Sharks’ win or go home situation, so I’m backing the over.
Prediction: Over 1.5 (-105)