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Blues Now Favored in Western Conference Final vs Sharks After Taking Home Ice Advantage

St Louis Blues celebrating a goal
The St Louis Blues have evened their series with the Sharks at one a piece. Photo from @globeandmail (Twitter)
  • The St. Louis Blues improved to 6-2 on the road win a Game 2 win over the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Western Conference final
  • Bovada now favors the Blues to win the series
  • St. Louis hasn’t played in the Stanley Cup final since 1970

The St. Louis Blues are the road warriors of the Stanley Cup playoffs. After a letdown in a 6-3 Game 1 loss, the Blues stole home-ice advantage by virtue of a 4-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks in Game 2 of the best-of-seven series.

Bovada liked what it saw. The sportsbook has installed the Blues as favorites to win the Western Conference and advance to play in the Stanley Cup final.

Updated Blues vs Sharks Series Price

Team 2019 NHL Western Conference Final Odds at Bovada
St. Louis Blues -145
San Jose Sharks +125

*Odds taken May 14

St. Louis opened as +110 underdogs to win the series.

History Reversing Itself?

Three years ago, the Sharks made their lone Stanley Cup final appearance. They did so after beating the Blues in a six-game Western Conference final.

That series also opened with the two teams splitting the first two games. But in that instance, the set commenced in St. Louis and the Blues were Game 1 winners. The Blues entered that series after surviving a pair of Game 7s in the first two rounds.

This spring, it’s San Jose that went the distance in each of its first two series. Are we watching the Stanley Cup verison of George Constanza’s opposite day unfolding before our eyes?

Another factor to keep in mind – in five previous Blues-Sharks playoff meetings, the Game 1 winner has lost four of five series.

Unlikely Heroes

St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington, who is 10-2-1 afer a loss this season, began the year in the minor leagues.

Pat Maroon, the Game 7 overtime hero against Dallas, is a St. Louis native. He was a free agent last summer and signed with his hometown team in order to be closer to his family.

Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, scorer of the Game 2 winner against the Sharks, was only in the lineup due to an injury to Carl Gunnarsson. The goal was Bortuzzo’s first in playoff competition at any level of hockey in a dozen years.

Blues Are Closers

St. Louis has outscored opponents 20-11 in third periods during the playoffs. The Blues are 3-0 in Games 6 and 7 this spring and 2-0 when facing elimination.

Another element that could play a factor in the outcome of the series is depth. Sharks coach Pete DeBoer tends to shorten his bench the longer the game goes on.

For instance, in Game 2, defenseman Joakim Ryan saw just five minutes of ice time. He was one of five Sharks who played 10:41 or less in the game.

Three of the top four and four of the top seven leaders in ice time in the playoffs skate for San Jose.  Might the Sharks wear down faced with another lengthy series?

The Blues are a touch deeper, and better in goal. That certainly gives them a slight edge.

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