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How they received right here. The Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks have had a ridiculous period of time to catch their breath, heal up and dwell on their second-spherical Western Conference playoff showdown. The Knights completed off their sweep of the Los Angeles Kings on April 17. The Sharks ended their sweep of the Anaheim Ducks on April 18.
After putting wagers at 200-1 (or extra) for a Golden Knights championship, these followers are their “joke” bets a bit extra significantly.
From the first spherical all the method by means of the Stanley Cup Final, ESPN has you lined. Check out the full image and protection on every staff.
Only one NHL staff will get to boost the Stanley Cup in June. The relaxation will probably be working laborious this summer season to get there at the finish of subsequent season.
The Knights (51-24-7, 109 factors) have been the finest story of the common season, smashing data for an growth franchise on virtually a weekly foundation. The query was whether or not that success may carry over to the postseason, and the reply was a powerful “yes” in the first spherical. They rolled 4 traces, outskating the Kings. They relied on stellar goaltending. There have been no playoff jitters. They seem to nonetheless be enjoying with home cash.
The Sharks (45-27-10, 100 factors) bade farewell to Patrick Marleau in the offseason, stated good day to Evander Kane at the commerce deadline, and have been usually a set of veteran gamers of their prime able to make one other run at the Cup.
The Knights have been 3-0-1 towards the Sharks in the common season, outscoring them 14-11.
Who emerges from the Pacific Division? Glad you requested …
First line. It’s a bit gorgeous that the Knights’ high line of Jonathan Marchessault (27 objectives, 48 assists, 75 factors in the common season), Reilly Smith (22-38-60) and William Karlsson (43-35-78) generated solely two even-energy objectives in 4 video games when one considers how current they have been: a plus-25 in shot makes an attempt, and a plus-12.54 % Corsi proportion relative to their teammates. They’ve been Vegas’ engine all season, and one among the high traces in the NHL. Evander Kane (9-5-14 in 17 video games with Sharks), Joe Pavelski (22-44-66) and Joonas Donskoi (14-18-32), in the meantime, have been a minus-25 in shot makes an attempt towards the Ducks. But they’ve proven nice chemistry, with seven objectives collectively in the common season. Advantage: Golden Knights.
Depth. The Knights’ second line (Alex Tuch, Erik Haula and James Neal) brings some offensive pop and far more physicality than their high unit. Ryan Carpenter, your “guy tossed aside by the Sharks who’s back for expansion team revenge” participant of the series, has performed nicely with Cody Eakin and David Perron. (Trade deadline prize Tomas Tatar, in the meantime, has upset.) The power line gamers like Tomas Nosek, William Carrier and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare throw their our bodies round however could be a legal responsibility at 5-on-5. The Sharks’ second line is anchored by Logan Couture (34 objectives to guide the Sharks), who is usually flanked by Mikkel Boedker and Tomas Hertl. That could be the line that sees the Marchessault group the most. Chris Tierney, Kevin Labanc and Timo Meier have been an efficient power line, as are Eric Fehr with Marcus Sorensen and Melker Karlsson. The Sharks are good. But they don’t seem to be 11.49 even-energy taking pictures proportion good. Advantage: Even.
Defense. Brent Burns (12-55-67) has 9 factors in his previous 10 video games whereas skating 24:19 per recreation, and is paired up with Paul Martin, as a result of if the playoffs are occurring Paul Martin is in them (119 profession video games). But the most intriguing pairing on this series is Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun, who may see copious quantities of the Marchessault line. Dylan DeMelo and Brenden Dillon are the Sharks’ third pairing. Nate Schmidt led the Knights in ice time (27:56), though he and Brayden McNabb have been a minus-9 in shot makes an attempt vs. the Kings. Deryk Engelland and Shea Theodore (plus-19) fared higher. Colin Miller and Jon Merrill have been the third pairing towards L.A. Advantage: Sharks.
Greg Wyshynski and Emily Kaplan break down the second-spherical playoff matchups which were set, and provides their high candidates for the Conn Smythe. Plus, Hurricanes proprietor Tom Dundon and longtime Penguins beat author Rob Rossi. Listen »
Goaltending. A battle of the two finest goalies in the postseason so far. Marc-Andre Fleury was spectacular in Vegas’ sweep of the Kings, with 127 saves on 130 photographs. Martin Jones has turn into the wallpaper for the Sharks; he is all the time there, however for those who discover him, it is as a result of somebody tore by means of him. Jones was sturdy in Round 1, with 128 saves on 132 photographs. His profession save proportion is now .931 in the playoffs. Advantage: Even.
Special groups. The Sharks had a middling energy play in the common season (20.6 %) however have been hitting the bull’s-eye towards the Ducks (30.Zero %). It was the reverse story for the Golden Knights, who have been 11th in the league at 21.Four % in the common season however simply 1-for-12 towards the Kings, the NHL’s finest penalty kill. Bad information: The Sharks have been second finest on the PK in the common season, at 84.eight %. Vegas was 12th on the kill (81.4). Advantage: Sharks.
Coaching. Both coaches did some heavy lifting in the common season. Peter DeBoer oversaw a transition year for the Sharks, and continues to have a deft understanding of the staff’s psychology, conserving the Sharks relaxed however not, like, nation membership relaxed. All Gerard Gallant did was take a disparate assortment of gamers acquired in an growth draft and assist them mesh right into a 109-point division winner. Advantage: Even.
Health. The X issue: Sharks star Joe Thornton, nonetheless on the mend from an harm to his proper medial collateral ligament and already dominated out for Game 1. The Golden Knights may get a lift from the return of defenseman Luca Sbisa, who hasn’t dressed for a recreation since Feb. 27 resulting from a hand harm. Advantage: Golden Knights.
Series pick: Sharks in six.