It’s game four between the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks and if it weren’t for the refs in game three, the Sharks would be playing in a elimination game tonight.
Game one LA dominated San Jose in net, on the back end and with their aggressive fore-check. Game two was kind of the same scenario except Jonathan Quick didn’t play as good as he usually does in the playoffs. Game three the Kings did everything right. Kept it tight in the neutral zone and aggressive on the fore-check, except one thing got in their way and that’s the zebras.
Thanks to these horrific referees, the San Jose Sharks were able to avoid a 0-3 series hole and won it in overtime on a 5 on 3. Now, when you have a 5 on 3 and you have Logan Couture on the ice, 9 out of 10 times he is going to score and that’s exactly what he did in overtime.
You need to be young to compete in the playoffs
Yes, it’s true. In today’s game you have to be a young team in order to compete in the NHL playoffs. Look at the past teams who have won the Stanley Cup, they were young and not this aging San Jose team.
Many of the “experts” are saying this San Jose team is no longer Thornton’s, Boyle’s or Marleau’s team. In fact, there’s a new wave and it includes Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture. Although this may be true, two young players stepping up isn’t going to be enough against this tough L.A. team.
In my opinion if San Jose wants to be a competitor in the playoffs they need to get younger and they need to ship out a few aging players. Where to start? Joe Thornton. It seems like every year he gets a tad slower, and it happens, it comes with age.
What L.A. needs to do to win game 4
There’s nothing this Kings team needs to do differently to go up 3-1 in this best of 7 series. They have not had home ice advantage in the playoffs since 1992 (except for the 2012 Stanley Cup finals) so they know what it takes to win on the road. Especially when they are just a few miles from home in San Jose.
Stay aggressive on the fore-check and take the body to San Jose. The Sharks traded a lot of their toughness before the trade deadline, and in this series it has been exposed and will continue to be exposed.
What San Jose needs to do to win game 4
They need to do exactly what they did in game 3, get LA off of their game and get in their heads. Although it was a couple of bad calls from the refs in game 3, they still got LA off of their game and got them a bit frustrated. With frustration comes penalties, with penalties comes Logan Couture scoring chances….Special teams is key for a San Jose victory tonight.
Game 4 prediction
If San Jose wants to tie this series tonight, they will need their big 3 to step up. Thornton, Marleau and Boyle all need to play tonight like it’s their last game of their careers. They have been OK but not great and with their age they need to be great every game to keep up with the young aggressive Kings.
I’m a big Couture and Pavelski fan but unfortunately for them and San Jose fans, I believe tonight is where the San Jose organization finally realizes younger is better.
I expect L.A. to clog Couture and Pavelski’s game tonight and capitalizing on San Jose mistakes. It won’t be an easy victory, it may even take overtime. But L.A. has been down this road before and they should easily be up 3-0 in the series.
Take the L.A. Kings tonight for small as the other match-up between the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins is a coin flip in my opinion.
Los Angeles Kings +121 (risking $100 to win $121)
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