The Stanley Cup Playoffs have again proven to be the best post season in all of professional sports. Offsetting that however is the perpetual officiating controversies that are becoming a plague. In game three of the Western Conference Final between the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues an otherwise outstanding game was marred by an illegal hand pass that figured into the overtime game winning goal for the Sharks. In a league in which so many trivial items are subject to video review the illegal hand pass was not on the list. And all four officials blew the call. This sets up a pivotal game four on Friday night.
- Date and Time: Friday, May 17, 2019, 8 p.m. ET
- Location: Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Missouri
- NHL Betting Online Odds at Betcris: Check Back Later
- Sharks vs. Blues TV Coverage: NBCSN
This best of seven Western Conference Final series is led by San Jose 2-1. Following Friday’s game four, the Blues and Sharks will meet Sunday at the Shark tank for the fifth game. If necessary, game six would be Tuesday at St. Louis with a seventh NHL game at San Jose on Thursday.
Roller Coaster Game Three
Led by ancient veteran Joe Thornton’s two goals the Sharks jumped out to a 3-1 lead at the 1:36 mark of the second period. But the Blues rallied with three straight goals including the last two by David Perron to take a 4-3 lead into the locker room at the second intermission. The third period was scoreless until the red hot Logan Couture tied the game with a minute and one second remaining in regulation for San Jose. Then came the overtime game winner by Erik Karlsson at 5:23. The video replay clearly showed an illegal hand pass but the refs skated off the ice without comment. The sellout crowd and Blues players went bananas. The NHL later confirmed that a hand pass is not a reviewable call.
Get Over It
Yes, it is true that the Blues got screwed on the missed call in overtime. But that does not take away from the fact that the blew the game late in regulation. Had they stopped the Sharks at the end of the third period there never would have been an overtime. Blues coach Craig Berube said it best. Berube simply stated that the Blues must move on and that its all they can do.
Both Martin Jones of the Sharks and Jordan Binnington of the Blues have been inconsistent in the playoffs. To Jones credit he recovered from a terrible start in the opening round against the Vegas Golden Knights to come up clutch when it mattered most. As for Binnington the Blues would not even be in the playoffs were it not for him and he has also come up big in critical post season moments. But the end of game three was not his finest hour.
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The Matchup’s Top Players
Logan Couture is on fire for the Sharks with 14 goals and six assists with a plus eight. Jaden Schwartz leads the Blues with nine goals, four assists and a plus four.
Sharks vs. Blues Free Picks
The Blues face the prospect of falling behind 3-1 and facing elimination at San Jose if they lose this game. Look for the toughness of Berube to rub off on his team and for the Blues to make a spirited effort.
Sharks vs. Blues Free Pick: Bet the St. Louis Blues
Sharks vs. Blues Score Prediction: Blues 4, Sharks 2
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