Tonight has only 2 games, but boy is one of them an exciting one. Last night was a flurry of action, but with only a couple of matches to bet on, better to focus on one game and give you an in-depth look at how you can turn early season action into betting excitement!
Los Angeles vs. San Jose
The newly improved Sharks will play at the Kings tonight, and these West coast inter-state rivals have a lot of history and drama that has passed between them. This season’s battle comes 264 days after these two teams last met. A lot has changed since, with Erik Karlsson donning the teal, and the Kings making Hollywood the new home for Ilya Kovalchuk. This will be his debut in the black and white, coming off time in the KHL, and Karlsson who also came from the hinterlands of Ottawa, will also taste the warm winds of California. Both snipers are re-inventing their hockey careers and taking a chance on West conference teams who have a lot to prove this season.
For the Sharks they’ll be looking for their first win of the season, in their second content of 2018/19. Losing their home opener should put fire under their backsides, and for a little revenge they’ll work hard to spoil the Kings’s season opener. The were put through the drills in practice yesterday so they could work on their speed. On Wednesday they played Anaheim, and just took too many penalties against them to win. The Ducks got two power-play goals and San Jose couldn’t capitalize so the coach knew something needs to be done about both the horrible penalty kill and power play.
San Jose’s Martin Jones wasn’t strong either letting a few weak ones, with a .714 save percentage outing, but his experience in the net will probably allow him to bounce back tonight, and hopefully the special teams will follow suit.
The Kings are playing their first game of the season and they are going want to set the right tone for their newly re-organized team. They won’t have Dustin Brown, who’s got a broken finger and that should hurt since last season, he got 61 points (28 goals, 33 assists) on a low scoring team, so without his offensive prowess, LA might just struggle. Another possibility that could deter them is that their young players will not make opening night either, due to injuries. Jonny Brodzinski and Gabriel Vilardi are both out tonight. So who will have to pick up the slack? Jeff Carter will have to and he’ll be ready since he missed most of last season with a leg injury. He’s healthy tonight and revving to go.
One bright spot for them is the return of Ilya Kovalchuk to the NHL. A highly sought after free agent who’ll make his second debut after 5 years away from the league. He’s 35 and just signed a three-year, $18.75 million deal with the Kings in the off-season, so he will want to make that money look well-spent. That’s exactly why he will play right wing on the top line, so his line-mates should be Anze Kopitar and Alex Iafallo which should help him get in the right position to score.
On the Sharks , a good prop bet would be who is going to score first? Will it be Antti Suomela or Erik Karlsson?
If preseason is any indication, Karlsson should score first since he played on the dynamic line with Evander Kane and Joonas Donskoi who were all great in 5-on-5 play so sooner or later he will capitalize. He’s got a good feel for the Sharks now and know his defensive partner Marc-Edouard Vlasic, he might just find his groove with his new team tonight. There is nothing holding him back.
Pick: Erik Karlsson will score his first goal of the season tonight. Sharks win, 6 plus goals