Detroit Red Wings vs. San Jose Sharks
The Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks face off in San Jose for Game 7. The Sharks are -130 over the Red Wings with an over/under goal total set at 5.5.
The San Jose Sharks are having the same reoccurring nightmare over and over again, except this time it’s with a slightly different ending. For years the Sharks have choked in the post season and failed to win or even reach the Stanley Cup, but never have they choked away a lead like this. Sharks fans are all too familiar with this feeling, but they still have hope on Thursday night. San Jose just needs to find a way to be one goal better than the Detroit Red Wings, and they’ll travel to Vancouver to face the Canucks in the Western Conference Semifinals. After three consecutive one-goal victories over the Red Wings, the Sharks lost two of their own. Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat saw San Jose take a 1-0 lead early in the third before folding and forcing a Game 7. Logan Coutoure scored his 5th goal of the playoffs but the Sharks were outshot 44-25 for the game, including 18-6 in the first period, and 14-7 in the second. Antiti Niemi did his best to keep the Sharks in it, but his performance wasn’t enough to stop a determined Red Wings squad.
For the Red Wings the key will be replicating their play at Joe Louis Arena in this series. Their only win in San Jose in this series came in Game 5, but they were outshot 42-22 in that game. The Red Wings will need to keep that disparity much closer in Game 7 if they hope to win this series and give themselves another shot at a Stanley Cup. Valterri Filppula, Henrik Zetteberg, and Darren Helm scored goals for the Red Wings, who will attempt to become the fourth NHL team in history to overcome a 3-0 series deficit. Jimmy Howard has absolutely stood on his head at times in this series and he made 24 saves for the Red Wings on Tuesday night. None of his performances were better than his Game 5 performance in San Jose when he stopped 42 shots and allowed Detroit to overcome a two-goal third period deficit.
Expect this to be one of the best hockey games of the season. We’ve got two of the most talented teams in the sport that have put on a wonderful series thus far playing a deciding do-or-die game. As well as Jimmy Howard has played in this series; I expect it to be similar to Game 5 where the Sharks threw everything they possibly could at him. Picking in a winner in this one is difficult, as five of the six games in this series have been decided by one goal. I expect this to be a chaotic, energetic game that sees the puck pushed up and down the ice. There’s too much talent on the ice to expect either goaltender to consistently stop the onslaught they’re going to see. Take the over 5.5 goals.