After escaping round one by the skin of their finely sharpened teeth, the San Jose Sharks will face the well-rested Colorado Avalanche in round two of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Game 1 of the best-of-seven battle between goes on Friday at SAP Center in San Jose (10:00 pm ET).
Opening Odds for Game 1
The Avalanche are a moderate ‘dog, in Game 1, sitting around +125 on the moneyline. The Sharks’ odds started in the -145 range. The series price is right in line with the odds for Game 1, with San Jose’s odds to advance ranging from -140 to -145.
The total for the Game 1 started at 6.0, but it was heavily skewed toward the OVER (-125) versus the UNDER (+105). There’s a good chance that the total moves to 6.5 before puck-drop.
Avalanche vs Sharks Statistical Comparison
|38-30-14 (17-16-8 away)||Record||46-27-9 (25-11-5 home)|
|258 (10th)||Goals For||289 (T 2nd)|
|244 (16th)||Goals Against||258 (21st)|
|50.06 (15th)||Fenwick %||54.10 (3rd)|
|90.68 (12th)||Save %||88.9 (31st)|
|50.89 (17th)||High-Danger Chances %||53.31 (7th)|
Just as they were throughout the regular season, the Colorado Avalanche continued to be a one-line team in their five-game ouster of the top-seeded Calgary Flames.
The good news for coach Jared Bednar, though, is that his two top gunners, Nathan MacKinnon (41 goals, 99 points) and Mikko Rantanen (31 G, 87 PTS), somehow took their games up a notch, combining for eight of Colorado’s 17 goals in the series, including both OT winners.
When reunited with erstwhile linemate Gabriel Landeskog on occasion, the trio was utterly dominant at 5-of-5.
On the back-end, Colorado got a huge performance from the unheralded Tyson Barrie, who had five assists and logged a team-high 25:05 of ice-time per game. The addition of Hobby Baker-winner Cale Makar as of Game 3 also paid dividends; the 20-year-old out of UMass had a goal in Colorado’s 6-2 win in Game 3 (his first NHL game) and added a helper in the decisive Game 5.
The Avalanche also got stellar goaltending from Philipp Grubauer against Calgary. He upped his save percentage from .917 in the regular season to .939 in the playoffs.
On the Sharks side, they moved onto the second round despite their goaltender.
Martin Jones was having a nightmare of a postseason against Vegas until Game 6. San Jose gave up 20 goals in the first five games before Jones backstopped the team to a 2-1 double OT win in Game 6 to keep their season alive.
Jones made 58 saves in what was easily his best career playoff game.
Concerningly for San Jose, he reverted back to his old ways in Game 7, giving up four goals in regulation time.
Luckily for San Jose, after falling behind 3-0 in the decider, they were gifted a phantom five-minute power-play on which they scored four goals.
Cody Eakin ▶️▶️▶️ Joe Pavelski#HfHits
This was a 5 minute major pic.twitter.com/b8pShR5FFc
— hockeyfights (@hockeyfights) April 24, 2019
Credit the Sharks for potting four goals in the span of 4:01, but they are sitting at home if the referees get the call right. (In the aftermath, the league made a somewhat stunning apology to the Knights for the fact that the call was blown.)
Putting the controversy to the side, because it really doesn’t matter for bettors going forward, the main takeaway from the first round is that San Jose will score in bunches and give up goals at almost the same rate.
Their best offensive performers in round one were Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl, who each had six goals apiece. Like MacKinnon and Rantanen on the Avs’ side, they accounted for roughly half of San Jose’s 23 goals in the seven-game series.
Pete DeBoer rode his top two defensemen like they were indefatigable androids. Thanks to a pair of extended OT games, Brent Burns averaged over 30 minutes per night (30:28), while Erik Karlsson wasn’t far behind (27:15).
It’s a tough strategy to make work over four gruelling playoff rounds. But Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who returned from injury in Game 3, continues to work himself back into playoff shape. The 2014 Olympic gold medal-winner should be able to shoulder more of the crunch-time load going forward as San Jose’s best defensive defenseman.
Avalanche vs Sharks Statistical Comparison: Playoffs
|4-1 (2-1 away)||Record||4-3 (3-1 home)|
|3.4||Goals Per Game||3.3|
|2.2||Goals Against Per Game||3.6|
|54.94 (2nd)||Fenwick %||47.79 (12th)|
|93.29 (3rd)||Save %||89.80 (13th)|
|56.06 (1st)||High-Danger Chances %||49.75 (10th)|
Puckline Betting Trends
In terms of the puckline, the Avalanche are have gone an outstanding 46-41, considerably better than the Sharks at 36-53.
Don’t forget that there is no 3-on-3 OT or shootout in the playoffs. Consider diving deeper into 5-on-5 stats before making your wagers.