San Jose could be the first team to sweep its opponent in the first round of the playoffs despite the fact that Vancouver was initially regarded as one of the favorites at lifting the trophy. The Sharks could finish the job tonight in front of their fans, and enjoy almost a week of rest before the next series begins.
Match: San Jose vs Vancouver
Bet: San Jose
Odds: William Hill 1.95
The Canucks were somewhat unlucky to lose the first two games played in Canada, but they were clearly outplayed in the third match. The Sharks are fast skaters and play a physical hokey, but their ability to survive with one less man on the ice made a difference in their favor. Both teams had players suspended for brief periods of 2 min., but it was San Jose who capitalize on their power-play opportunities.
What the hosts are not good at is defending the lead both in a game and in a series, with examples being plentiful and just as worrisome. Two years ago they were on the verge of squandering a three goals lead over the Red Wings, but eventually qualified in seven games. This experience was equally traumatic and tiresome for players and coach Todd McLellan is determined to avoid it this season. The synergy between Marleau and Pavelski is remarkable and if this dynamic duo keeps playing as well as they did in the third game, the Canucks stand no chance in California.
The odds for Vancouver to tie the score and force a decisive game seven are slim to none and bookmakers are confident that the series will end tonight. The Sharks are priced at 1.95 with William Hill to win in regulation time and the odds are just high enough to warrant this type of wager.