Free NHL Playoffs Picks and Odds – Game 2 San Jose Sharks at Vancouver Canucks Favorite, Moneyline, Total and Predictions 5/18/11: The Sharks put up a valiant fight in game 1 of the western conference finals, but wound up tiring late in the game, which in the end rendered them a game down in the series. They were just coming off of a momentous game 7 triumph over the Detroit Red Wings and were skating on second wind for most of the contest. They were competitive for the majority of game 1 and stood to win the game early in the third period until the Canucks took the game over from there. Antti Niemmi was solid in the pipes for San Jose and was not the reason for the game 1 loss. He was seen making point blank saves and used great positioning and solid technique to rob a few of the Canuck skaters. For the Sharks to have success in this series they will have to rely on Niemmi to steal a game or two. Nagging injuries and ailments are hindering the teams most productive skaters in Thornton, Marleau, and Clowe. The Wings’ series was aggressive and pounding, the 7 games took a toll on all Sharks players. It might be wise for head coach McClellan to ease the minutes of some of the skaters with ailments and devise a game plan where not much is sacrificed in terms of production.
The Vancouver Canucks are without a doubt the most talented and powerful hockey club in the league when they are clicking on all cylinders. They proved their critics wrong on Sunday night when they managed to overcome the Sharks in game 1. They came out of the gates slow and weary, but managed to find their legs late in the contest and executed a fortifying defensive front to come away with the victory. Roberto Lulongo is putting forth his claim for the Conn Smythe this postseason as it seems he is getting stronger and stronger between the pipes with each given outing. He shut down the Sharks special teams unit on Sunday night and gave up little in the area of rebounds. The Sedin twins both looked solid in game 1, but have yet to hit their top speed. The Canucks are hoping that the two of them can rekindle their regular season magic in hopes of having the two on top speed when, or if, the Stanley Cup finals commence.
Tonight we will recommend a play on the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks know they cannot give an inch to this hungry Sharks club and they would love nothing more to put them in a series deficit early. The Canucks themselves were not on their ‘A’ game, so to speak, on Sunday night and I expect at much more feisty approach tonight. Roberto Lulongo is blossoming into a prototypical Conn Smythe recipient a right around the correct time in the postseason; his play is garnering his team to be more aggressive offensively. Vancouver leads the postseason in terms of defensive production, as they lead in scoring, assists, even shots. The Sharks do not match up against the Canucks as well as they did against the Red Wings, the speed and creativeness of the Canucks is a lot for the Sharks to adapt too. The Red Wings series also proved very costly for San Jose in terms of ailments and bruises. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are both playing hurt, although they will never say anything, and these injuries are hindering their ability to be productive on the ice. We will consider the Canucks sinking the Sharks into an early hole in the west finals with a follow up victory tonight on home ice. Cheers!
Free Pick: Vancouver Canucks -155(Moneyline)
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|GAME 2 San Jose Sharks at Vancouver Canucks
Time: 9:05 PM EST
2011 NHL Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals Series: (Best of 7 Series: Canucks lead 1-0)
Vegas Odds –
Favorite: Vancouver Canucks -155(moneyline) Total: Over/Under 5.5
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