Stanley Cup Playoffs and we have the Sharks and Over are Game 6 Plays

May 26, 2016

Of the 11 games played in the Conference Finals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the visiting team has won seven of them, which has been the theme of the postseason all along this spring.

Teams fight all season to secure home ice advantage in the playoffs, but when teams are evenly matched, a few breaks or extra effort on a particular night can make the difference more so than the energy from the home crowd.	Though San Jose is 6-2 at the Shark Tank in the postseason, for the entire season they are 24-25 SU. St. Louis is a sharp 6-3 in the traveling whites and 31-19 SU for this campaign away from home.

This series has been about imposing will and keeping composure, who has the edge for NHL picks?

St. Louis Has To Settle Down and Be Themselves

Going into the West Finals, is was supposed to be a matchup the Blues brute force against San Jose’s speed, and if the series was based on the team who has played their style the best, the Sharks would already being advancing, having been the better club in four of the five conflicts.

For St. Louis to advance, they have to play their game which is physical  hockey, win the corner scrums and play great defense. Coach Ken Hitchcock took calculated risk in starting Jake Allen in net in Game 4 and it worked, but in next outing, Allen and the defense were slow, which has forced the coach to go back to goalie Brian Elliott. It worked for Pittsburgh last night in similar scenario and the Blues will have to hope it can work for them.

However, St. Louis has to play aggressive yet with poise. They were overanxious on penalty kills Monday and allowed two goals. Also, after scoring 13 points in the first two rounds, top goal scorer Vladimir Tarasenko has been blanked in the series and they really need his offense starting tonight.

San Jose Has to Live in the Present

For players like Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton, it could be very easy to think about past failures and be too amped up given their playoff careers. Needing just win to reach the Cup Finals for the first time, they and their Sharks teammates have to be laser-focused on the present and understand they have been the better team in the series and if they bring the energy in a controlled manner, skate to their abilities, San Jose will advance.

This is easier said than done because for the first time, the motivation is not revenge or being a truly better team like in the Nashville series win, it is about just playing the game and all the mental and physical preparation cannot determine how you or your teammates will react in this situation.



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