Anaheim Ducks (45-17-7) at San Jose Sharks (45-18-7)
|Date & Time||Thursday March 20, 2014, 10:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: San Jose Sharks -147 / Anaheim Ducks +134 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
Two of the game’s best teams hook up in San Jose on Thursday night as the Sharks host the division leading Anaheim Ducks.
The Ducks head into San Jose on Thursday looking to separate themselves from their in-state rivals in the Pacific division and chase down the St. Louis Blues in the process. It is hard to believe that the mecca of hockey in terms of overall talent has shifted to the West coast where you won’t find a lick of ice in sight but with Anaheim, San Jose, and Los Angeles all near the top of the league standings that is the reality we are faced with and the league couldn’t be happier. Anaheim could be in line to receive some hardware for their efforts this season as they’re still in the running for the President’s Trophy for having the best record, Ryan Getzlaf will challenge for the Hart Trophy, and head coach Bruce Boudreau will be up for the Jack Adams award. Anaheim and San Jose are tied for second in the West right now but the Ducks do have the tiebreaker and with a win tonight can move two points clear.
San Jose heads into action against the Ducks as a comfortable favourite in this game since they are the home team but to me I think they are the better team overall and have a great chance at unseating the Ducks as Pacific champs. The Sharks have some familiar faces running the show once again as the likes of Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, and Logan Couture are leading this team to another successful season but the unsung hero of this team has been goaltender Antti Niemi who never gets enough credit for the work he does in the San Jose crease. Niemi is a former Stanley Cup winner with the Chicago Blackhawks and knows what it takes to win in the postseason which is an intangible you can’t compare to those who haven’t accomplished it and when it comes down to it will be something that gives one team an edge over another. These two teams are very even but I do give the nod to the Sharks and while I don’t like the price I think they’re worth it here.