The Western Conference Finals continues on Wednesday when the San Jose Sharks visit Enterprise Arena for Game 3. The series is tied at 1-1 and puck drop is slated for 8:00 pm ET.
We’ve seen two vastly different games as the Sharks won Game 1 by a lopsided 6-3 margin and the Blues won a much tighter Game 2 (4-2). Goaltending has been an issue for both teams, so we’ll see which of the two netminders has the better game on Wednesday.
Opening Odds for Game 3
The Sharks opened at +125 on the moneyline while the Blues were in the -145 range on home ice. St. Louis has struggled at home this postseason as they are just 3-4 in front of their home audience.
The Sharks are just 2-4 on the road in the playoffs, themselves, though.
As far as the total, it opened at 5.5 and has held steady even though both of the first two games went over.
Sharks vs Blues Statistical Comparison
|46-27-9 (25-11-5 home)||Reg. Season Record||45-28-9 (21-13-7 away)|
|9-7 (2-4 away)||Playoff Record||9-6 (3-4 away)|
|3.5 (T 2nd)||Goals Per Game (Reg. Season)||3.0 (15th)|
|3.19 (3rd)||Goals Per Game (Playoffs)||2.83 (8th)|
|3.0 (22nd)||Goals Against Per Game (Reg. Season)||2.6 (T5th)|
|3.13 (11th)||Goals Against Per Game (Playoffs)||2.73 (7th)|
|54.10 (3rd)||Fenwick % (Reg. Season)||52.10 (7th)|
|50.15 (9th)||Fenwick % (Playoffs)||51.90 (4th)|
|88.9 (31st)||Save % (Reg. Season)||90.62 (16th)|
|88.90 (14th)||Save % (Playoffs)||90.50 (11th)|
|53.31 (7th)||High-Danger Chances % (Reg. Season)||54.34 (5th)|
|47.62 (12th)||High-Danger Chances % (Playoffs)||46.75 (13th)|
Analysis of Games 1 and 2
We’ve seen two very different games so far in this series as both teams have been able to dictate the pace. The Sharks, who prefer to make this a high-scoring affair, took Game 1 by a score of 6-3. They only put 24 shots on Jordan Binnington but still found their way to six goals. In Game 2, the Blues kept it a low-scoring contest and won 4-2.
The challenge for the Sharks is that if they had a goaltender who was at all worth his salt, they’d be in much better position to take control of this series. Martin Jones continues to be a weak point for the squad as he now has an .875 save percentage in the conference finals. He’s only had to face 56 but he’s managed only 49 saves.
That leaves it up to the Sharks offense to carry the load. Logan Couture has mostly been all of that offense as he had both of the team’s goals in Game 2 and also scored two goals and had an assist in Game 1. The Sharks need to find a little bit more balance as Tomas Hertl has yet to register a point in this series while Erik Karlsson and Evander Kane each have just one point.
What’s interesting to note for Game 3 is that the Blues don’t play great at home (3-4 in the playoffs) and the Sharks haven’t been reliable on the road (2-4). San Jose has managed to win at least one road game in each of its first two series and they’ll have to again to advance to the Stanley Cup finals.
The Sharks are 40-58 against the puckline this season. They are 4-1 this postseason when their series are tied up 1-1. As for the Blues, they are 47-50 on the puckline this season. They have won three of the last four meetings in St. Louis between the teams.