San Jose Sharks (2) v.s. L.A. Kings (7)
The Kings have had an up and down year all season long and to make matters worse they are with-out their leading scorer, Anze Kopitar. And have gone 2-4 in their last six games with-out him. Justin Williams is expected to return to the line-up for the playoffs but that is just a portion of the missing offense.
They are filled with offensive, defensive and goaltending depth for the future but for right now, it’s not going to cut it. Especially against the team like the San Jose Sharks.
The Sharks have always been a great regular season team but come playoff time they tend to choke and get knocked out early. They are going to need their top line to produce and carry most of the loud if they want to make a deep run. Players like Thornton, Heatley and Setoguchi consist of the top line.
Now one line won’t win it for any team, but the Sharks have the ability to roll all four lines to keep the top line fresh and healthy throughout the playoffs this season. Logan Couture the rookie has had a very impressive season and is expected to keep it going in the playoffs, at least I think he will. This young guy has a lot to prove.
The only question that is a concern for me is will Joe Thornton get over his playoff hump? For his entire career he has struggled in the playoffs, but is this the season he turns it all around? He needs to produce and play like a leader which will involve the rest of the team to follow, if that happens this Sharks team could be a very dangerous team through the playoffs.
Do the injured Kings have enough fire power to keep up with the Sharks? In my opinion, no they do not. They will need Kopitar back to beat Shark goalie Antti Niemi if they want any chance on advancing.
Prediction: San Jose Sharks to win the series in 5 games
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