San Jose Sharks vs. Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks are -155 favorites over the San Jose Sharks in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. The over/under goal total is set at 5.5.
The San Jose Sharks need to find a way to maintain a lead if they want to qualify for their first ever Stanley Cup final as they have blown a third period lead in 3 of their last 4 games and could find themselves in a very tough position heading home down 2-0. The Sharks held a 2-1 advantage in the 3rd period of the series opener with the Canucks but two quick goals from the leagues top team spelled the end of San Jose’s evening with a fortune less than warranted. The Canucks will look to sweep the home set to start the series and head to San Jose with tons of confidence and all the momentum.
Despite being one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup the Sharks have looked less than ordinary in their last 5 outings dropping 4 of them and barely escaping the second round with a 3-2 victory over the Red Wings in Game 7 of the Western semi finals. The offensive balance that has made the Sharks so successful is starting to slip away and the Sharks become a one-dimensional unit when guys like Joe Pavelski and Dany Heatley go quiet. San Jose has the offensive and defensive talent to skate past the Canucks into the Stanley Cup finals but they need to show up in a big way tonight if they want to stay relevant in this series. Vancouver is a very dangerous road team and at the very least would be happy with a split in San Jose setting up a potential series clinching victory on home ice. The Sharks need to get off to a fast start and silence the raucous Vancouver crowd but unlike Game 1 they need to hold on to their lead and give Antii Niemi some breathing room in front of the Sharks goal.
Vancouver showed why they were the best team in the regular season as they have so much composure and are never out of a game as they scored two quick goals in the 3rd period and never looked back as they notched yet another series opening victory. However, the Canucks need to put their foot on the gas here as they’re notorious for giving up the 2nd game of a series and if they give even an inch to a team like San jose they will exploit them for a mile in what could be a series changing performance for the Sharks. The good news for the Canucks and their fans is Henrik Sedin found the back of the net in game 1 and if he can continue to play the rest of this series like he did in Game 1 and return to his Hart Trophy form the Sharks could be in big trouble. The Canucks need another big performance on Ryan Kessler as he tries to neutralize Joe Thornton who was a big part of the Shark attack in Game 1. If the Canucks can keep the top 3 at bay and provide some damage control for the secondary offensive producers the Canucks should leave home with a 2-0 lead.
This should be another great game between two of the league’s best and although it is ridiculous to claim the second game of a series as a must win especially on the road the Sharks would be in a much better position with a strong effort tonight and take the split in Vancouver. There is great value on San Jose here and although they blew what should have been their split game on Vancouver in the opener I think they have the wherewithal to bounce back and take Game 2.
San Jose Sharks +135 Vancouver Canucks