NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Sharks vs. Rangers (October 20)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images. PIctured: New York Rangers celebrate a goal
- Two teams that have gotten off to very different starts to the season meet tonight at Madison Square Garden.
- The Rangers are undefeated at home as they welcome the struggling Sharks.
- Jonny Lazarus breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet for the game below.
Sharks vs. Rangers Odds
|Over/Under||6.5 (+100 / -120)|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
The San Jose Sharks are still looking for their first victory of the season under new head coach David Quinn, who happens to be making his return to Madison Square Garden for the first time as an opposing coach after spending three seasons with the New York Rangers.
The Rangers have looked incredible to kick off the season, especially on the offensive end.
The Rangers are currently undefeated at home, and the Sharks aren't playing with much confidence.
Can the Rangers extend the Sharks losing streak?
A Rough Start for San Jose Sharks
Quite frankly, the San Jose Sharks just aren't a very threatening team, and their roster doesn't have nearly as much talent as the Rangers do, so tonight could be a frustrating one.
The Sharks are allowing 3.80 goals against per game, and they have 4.24 goals against above expected. Madison Square Garden hasn't been a very fun place for San Jose to play; they are 1-6 in their last seven trips to the world's most famous arena.
San Jose's biggest issue at the moment is its goaltending. James Reimer and Kaapo Kahkonen have essentially split time in the net to start the season. Reimer has started three of the five games and has a record of 0-3-0 with a .919 SV% and a 3.05 GAA. Kahkonen has started two games and is 0-2-0 with a .814 SV% and a 4.10 GAA. The Sharks need both of them to be much better if they want to win hockey games.
The offense has been a massive struggle for the Sharks, as well. They are currently the worst offensive team in the league, scoring only 1.60 goals per game.
I have not been impressed at all with San Jose, and this game could be a disaster for them.
New York Rangers Can Control Play
The New York Rangers' power play is what drives the bus for this team. Their first unit, which consists of Adam Fox, Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin and Vincent Trocheck, has essentially been unstoppable.
As a whole, the Rangers' power play is converting 33.3% of the time, but in general, New York is averaging 4.25 goals per game with a 1.38 goals above expected.
Igor Shesterkin hasn't started as well this season as he did last season, but he has yet to lose a game, skating to a 3-0-0 record with a .905 SV% and a 2.68 GAA along with a 0.8 GSAx.
Artemi Panarin is currently leading the league in points with 10 in four games, and Mika Zibanejad is close to him in fourth with eight points in four games. The Rangers' big guns have come out of the gate hot, and they can really take advantage of a weak team like the Sharks.
I expect the star-studded New York team to control the pace of play for the entire 60 minutes.
Sharks vs. Rangers Pick
The Rangers have been incredibly impressive through their first four games. They haven't had many issues generating offense, and they are currently averaging the second most shots on goal per game with 39.5.
The Sharks' offense won't be able to keep up with the production of the Rangers, and they may fall behind very early on in this game.
San Jose has allowed 10 goals in their last two games against opponents that aren't very dangerous, so I imagine they will have a very tough test tonight.
I think the Rangers will come out buzzing and keep their foot on the gas all night. I like the Rangers to cover the puck line.
Pick: New York Rangers -1.5 (+100)