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San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings – Preview for October 8th, 2014

 

San Jose Sharks
San Jose Sharks 
O/U :5.52.43
Vs.Date: 2014-10-08
Time: 21:05:00

Generated from 60 Previous Games

Los Angeles Kings
Los Angeles Kings
SIDE :-145
2.64 = 5.07


Pick: Los Angeles Kings -145

Today the Los Angeles Kings will face-off versus the San Jose Sharks in their 2014-15 home opener.

This promises to be one a tough outing for the Kings because they’re up against a formidable playoff contender in the Sharks, and both teams are being dunked into this year’s season headfirst. Talk about trial by fire!

The point here is that this is a little bit different than when the Lightning will face off versus the lowly Panthers tomorrow.

So anytime we’ve got ourselves a team that: a) had a winning preseason b) was in last year’s playoffs, then we have ourselves a historical 7-3 winner on their home-opener. This suits the Kings in this case.

We can talk about their earth shaking stats from last year. Their endless depth and complete defensive and league-elite competence when playing in their zone, their heads-up play during transitions, and their Gretzky like where-with-all when playing up ice, but who needs to? Everyone know this about the LA squad already.

We could go on about how the Kings have systemically sniped and acquired league leaders such as the likes of Jeff Carter who’s numbers have slightly dipped from his averages set out as a Flyer, but who now gets to share the scoring with scoring-powerhouses such as C Anze Kopitar, LW Marian Gaborik, and RW Justin Williams. Carter is placed as the hero on the 2nd line, but what a compliment of talent that he gets to play with.Any team that has Carter on the 2nd line must be very deep, and must be a playoff contender.

Newly acquired Marian Gaborik seems to have found his niche with the Kings as he’s returned to his star form of which we saw in the ’11-’12 season as he headed the Rangers squad scoring with nearly a point per game. Since he’s been with the Kings, he’s played 19 games and scored 16 points, 11 of which were assists. This kind of propensity to find good passing lanes and compliment your fellow teammates with scoring opportunities is no small deal and wreaks of Marian’s maturity and intellect.

We see it in baseball all the time. There’s runners on and immature hitters swing for the walk-off homer, leaving them vulnerable to whiff at breaking balls thrown at their ankles. It’s the same thing here. While it’s always good to put the puck on the net, while Don Cherry and other elite coaches preach that as a fundamental, to be able to find your teammates tape and finish with a goal is far preferable than risking a turnover on a wonky rebound. Gaborik seemed to do this just a little better than others in the ’13-’14 season and he’s left ’14-’15 statisticians eagerly awaiting his performance.

So the guy to watch on this squad really is going to be Marian Gaborik to see how he handles his role as a 1st line Left Winger on arguably the strongest hockey team in the league. We already know and expect Kopitar and Williams to do their thing, but the real question is if Gaborik can keep pace with his ’13-’14 season and continue to function as the brains of the operation with his acute ability to pass the puck and create plays.

He will be the player to watch tonight as we suspect that any time we see the Kings score, there is a high probability that Gaborik set it up where others may have missed the opportunity.

A point of caution! Expert handicappers testify that “last year’s winners don’t tend to fare well on their first game of the next season!” While this appears to be particularly relevant with football such as was the case with the Ravens in ’13, (despite the Seahawks proving us wrong this year), does it apply to NHL hockey as well?

2006 Carolina Hurricanes won the cup. Carolina lost in their 2007 opener.
2007 Anaheim Ducks won the cup. Anaheim lost in their 2008 opener.
2008 Detroit Red Wings won the cup. Detroit lost in their 2009 opener.
2009 Pittsburgh Penguins won the cup. Pittsburgh won in their 2010 opener.
2010 Chicago Blackhawks won the cup. Chicago lost in their 2011 opener.
2011 Boston Bruins won the cup. Boston lost in their 2012 opener
2012 Los Angeles Kings won the cup. Los Angeles lost in their 2013 opener.
2013 Chicago Blackhawks won the cup. Chicago won in their 2014 opener.

So even at PK, these are definitely not good odds for the Kings here today, much less as strong chalk.

Based on all the trends and due to the formidable ATS Stats Database considerations, this play is still worth a try, but perhaps we’ll leave it at 1/2 a unit.

Some ATS Matchups to consider:

When LOS ANGELES played as Home Team- Vs SAN JOSE SU: 9-1-0
When LOS ANGELES played as Favourite- With Total between 5.5 and 6.0 SU: 8-2-0
When LOS ANGELES team played as a home team – Last 3 years – playing on Wednesday SU: 10-2-0
When LOS ANGELES team Played as Home team as a Favorite – Vs Division Opponent – playing on Wednesday SU: 9-1-2
When SAN JOSE played as Underdog- Vs LOS ANGELES SU: 4-11-0

 

Good luck with your game sports fans and sports handicappers. This promises to be the game to watch to start the 2014-2015 NHL hockey season…then again, Montreal @ Toronto will definitely be one heck of a banger to be certain. Why settle? Why not watch them BOTH!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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