The San Jose Sharks may have caught fire down the stretch to ensure they made it into the postseason, but they may have drawn the wrong first round opponent if they hope to end their playoff curse.
Maybe being the underdog will change the Sharks fate? San Jose is a first round underdog for the first time in a long time at +140 at Bodog.ca, while the Blues are a -160 favorite.
During the regular season this matchup was all St. Louis. The Blues were 4-0 versus the Sharks, as their NHL-best defense stymied the Sharks offense. In those four wins the Blues limited the Sharks to three goals which included a pair of shutouts.
The biggest problem for the Blues could be deciding who to start in nets. Do they go with Brian Elliott who posted the best goals against average and save percentage in the league this season or Jaroslav Halak, who has carried his team through the postseason before?
For the Sharks this could be their last gasp for their current roster if they go home early once again. After making a few upgrades during the offseason the Sharks, at least on paper, were supposed to be better.
Instead they struggled all season and nearly missed the playoffs. The Sharks turned it on late in the season when it counted with four straight wins and seven wins in nine to close out the season but will that be too little, too late once the playoffs begin?
The Sharks will find out when the puck drops on Game 1 in St. Louis on Thursday night. At William Hill the Blues are a -160 favorite in the opener.