NHL Playoff Betting Preview: San Jose Sharks vs St. Louis Blues – Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Matchup at a Glance
Where: Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri
When: Tuesday, May 21,2019
Money Line: St Louis Blues-165
From the opening puck drop, the Blues took control of game 5 and never looked back. St. Louis poured on 5 goals and Jordan Binnington backstopped the Blues to a shutout while the Sharks looked lost for most of the game.
Jaden Schwartz added his second hat trick of the 2019 playoffs and Vladimir Tarasenko zipped home a perfect penalty shot attempt that made the game 3-0 and seemed to take what life was left in the SAP Center out of the fans. The opposing bench wore thin throughout the game as the Sharks watched Joe Pavelski, Tomas Hertl, Erik Karlsson, and Joonas Donskoi to injuries for lengthy periods of time.
Combine those injuries with 2 separate game misconducts in the 3rd period, and Pete Deboer didn’t have many players to choose from while searching his bench late in the game. Game 6 heads back to the Arch where the Blues find themselves as a -165 favorite.
Blood in the Water?
The injuries sustained in game 5 for the Sharks may just spell the end of the season for Pete Deboers squad. Watching the game, even on TV, a feeling of finality was all over the ice for the Sharks. A team that has a history of postseason failures looked to be feeling the past catch up to them.
A couple of 3rd period skirmishes with no reaction from the Blues lead to early exits for Haley and Kane as the Blues pumped home the 4th and 5th goals of the game. Also, Martin Jones found himself a half step behind on a few shots that had to have Sharks fans thinking, “not again…”.
There really were no bright spots for San Jose in this game and with the uncertain severity of a few of their injuries, it’s tough to see the Sharks winning 2 in a row against a Blues squad that found its’ next gear after the game 3 hand pass overtime goal.
Feel the Schwartz
Jaden Schwartz has continued to impress for St. Louis after completing his second hat trick in the playoffs which warranted one lonely hat on the ice from a Blues fan in the Bay Area. Schwartz has been by far the most consistent Blue outside of Binnington and has really put the team on his back for stretches in this postseason.
While Schwartz has been ready from the start, Tarasenko seems to be refinding his ways as of late with points in his last 3 including a game 5 penalty shot goal. Tarasenko was partially dragged down on a breakaway but somehow managed to get back up and create a scoring chance after a show of pure strength and skating abiity.
He left no doubts on this penalty shot as he came down the right wing boards and rifled a shot over Jones’s glove hand and under the bar. It seems repetitive, but if the Blues should expect point per game performances from Schwartz and Tarasenko, this series should end tonight in St. Louis.
Jordan Binnington’s 11 wins in this postseason are the most in one playoff season for a Blues goaltender. Actually, these 11 wins are the most by a Blues team in one playoff season. Binnington, no matter the circumstances, has been unshaken.
Even after some less than stellar single-game performances, the rookie bounces back and shuts the door. The frustration growing in the minds of the Sharks from some uncalled questionable Blues hits and being unable to consistently crack the code standing in front of the Blues net has to be concerning as a Sharks fan.
This series has been a story of quick starts. Both teams have jumped out early and taken control of games. I look for this elimination game to be the same. Both teams will be playing a bit more open early in the game to set the tone.
Considering the consistent play of Binnington combined with the injuries that will no doubt be plaguing the Sharks, I’ll be on the Blues money line with an extra half unit on the puck line to take the Western Conference and set up a 1970 Stanley Cup Final rematch