View All Sports Betting Sites
Sat 21/05/2016 - 09:56 EDT

NHL Western Conference Finals Game 4 Prediction

NHL Western Conference Finals Game 4 Prediction
On the road, down 2-1 to the San Jose Sharks and losers of two straight games, the St. Louis Blues are looking to a goaltender switch to spark their team and swing the momentum back to their side in this series.

Sharks Vs Blues Game 4 Thoughts 

By Bob Duff

St. Louis Blues (+147) at San Jose Sharks (-156)

jake 

Has Ken Hitchcock gone mad, or is the coach of the St. Louis Blues simply crazy like a fox? Hitchcock is switching netminders for Game 4, going to Jake Allen over Brian Elliott, who has carried the load for the Blues in the playoffs, starting all 17 games and posting nine wins. It might seem like a knee-jerk reaction or a move that smacks of panic, but the fact of the matter is Elliott has not been impressive in this series.

His save percentage in the last two games is a dismal .837. Elliott made a paltry 11 stops in their 3-0 Game 3 defeat. Elliott's 2.34 goals-against average is barely above the league playoff average of 2.38. Allen is the more active netminder in terms of puckhandling and Hitchcock believes his insertion will force the Sharks to alter their forechecking strategy. 

That being said, Allen, who has made two mop-up apperances in the playoffs, has posted a middling 11-7-1 record since Feb. 22 and his career playoff marks of a 2-4 record and .910 save percentage aren't what would be described as awe-inspiring.

At the other end, the Sharks have no such goaltending controversy. Martin Jones has posted back-to-back shutouts. He has three shutouts in his last four games and is 10-5 with a 1.89 GAA and .927 save percentage. Jones has started all 15 of San Jose's games and is the only goalie left in the playoffs who has yet to be relieved by his backup.

Hitchcock sounded like he planned to stay with his new-look fourth line of Dmitrij Jaskin and Magnus Paajarvi, who saw their first action of the series in Game 3, along with Kyle Brodziak. The Blues have gone 150:35 since scoring their last goal, Jori Lehtera's game winner at 9:15 of the second period in their 2-1 verdict in Game 1.

The Blues stayed off the ice Friday and didn't hold a morning skate Saturday, fueling speculation that the team is growing fatigued after playing back-to-back seven-game series and being further worn down by the phyiscally punishing, grinding style that the Sharks prefer to play. 

San Jose has won six straight home games after dropping six of the previous eight at the SAP Center. Sharks forward Tomas Hertl recorded his first career multi-goal game in Game 3 and San Jose's top line of Hertl, Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton has combined for 17 goals and 38 points in the playoffs.

Pick: The Sharks (-156)

 

Category : News

More articles...
News - 21/10/21
Mid-Season Update: Futures Picks To Win NFL Divisions 
Mid-Season Update: Futures Picks To Win NFL Divisions

With more than one-third of the NFL season down, now feels like a good time to revisit NFL futures bets. In this article, we’re making three new futures picks to win NFL divisions by the season’s end.

News - 21/10/21
Best NHL Bets For Thursday Games 
Best NHL Bets For Thursday Games

Thursday is a busy night in the NHL with ten different games happening. Out of that entire slate, we've hand-picked the best NHL bets for Thursday games and we're giving 'em to you for free! Read on if you want to make money on this fine day!

News - 20/10/21
Best Bets To Win 2021 MLB Pennants 
Best Bets To Win 2021 MLB Pennants

We’re days away from having a World Series matchup set in stone, but there’s still time to make money on each respective league title series. Here’s who the two best bets to win 2021 MLB pennants are — plus a risky “bonus” betting tip! 

News - 20/10/21
Canelo Alvarez is a Heavy Favorite to Beat Caleb Plant in Newest Boxing Prediction 
Canelo Alvarez is a Heavy Favorite to Beat Caleb Plant in Newest Boxing Prediction

This fight is suddenly a huge commodity after the two boxers swung at each other at a press conference. Here’s a complete preview of the anticipated matchup, plus a handy guide on how to bet Canelo vs. Plant so you can win big!