Free Hockey Pick: Blues @ Kings Game 4 Preview
- Updated: May 6, 2012
The dominating Los Angeles Kings hope to stay hot at home in Game 4 of hockey betting action in the Western Conference Semifinals. A win, and they’ll be on their way to the Western Conference Finals off of a sweep of the No. 2 St. Louis Blues.
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Head Coach Ken Hitchcock has to be scratching his head right now about the way that his team has played in this series. Goaltender Brian Elliott has been awful, but with Jaroslav Halak still nursing an injury that would likely keep him sidelined for the next week or two at minimum, it is going to be up to Elliott to turn things around if the Blues are going to get back in this series. The defense hasn’t really helped Elliott out all that much, though the goaltending has been weak to say the least at times. A dozen goals in just three games isn’t going to lead to victories in the playoffs, and that being said, the offense just hasn’t historically been good enough over the course of the year to think that that would be acceptable. The youngsters on this St. Louis team are going to be great in the future, and the argument could be made that they have already arrived as some of the best players in the league, but they have never found themselves in this situation before. We do give Chris Stewart some credit, as he scored two goals in that loss to the Kings in Game 3 and gave his squad some hope, but the rest of the team really has to step it up.
It is remarkable to think that the Kings are still in the playoffs at all, and it is even more remarkable that any team has had the ability to win seven out of eight games here in the Western Conference playoffs. Add in the fact that this is a No. 8 seed, and the accomplishment is just magnified tenfold. Jonathan Quick continues to be a beast, as he is doing his job and allowing just a total of five goals in three games in this series. He has a .936 save percentage in this series, and there aren’t many goalies that can keep up that pace over the course of a full postseason. However, we have no doubts about Quick for sure. Remember though, that these Kings didn’t just catch fire here in the playoffs. Over the course of their last six games in the regular season, they didn’t suffer a loss in regulation, which now stretches that streak to 13 out of 14 games if you include the postseason. The offense struggled all season long, but over the course of these 14 games, something has snapped into place for sure. This team is that good top to bottom.
St. Louis Blues @ Los Angeles Kings Pick: Bust out the brooms. The Kings have never had a sweep in franchise history, and they are going to finally be celebrating that happening in this one. At least when it was the Canucks, they showed a bit of a pulse. These Blues just look like they are finished.
Free Hockey Pick: Los Angeles Kings