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Western Conference Final Game 6 Preview: Blues vs Sharks

The St. Louis Blues can reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970 when they were swept by the Boston Bruins. Tonight they will play at their home arena at Enterprise Center for Game 6 of the Western Conference Final. This is their chance for a Stanley Cup rematch

Can the Blues Advance?

Head coach Craig Berube has done a great job with getting his players to focus on winning. He knows that some things they can’t control. An example is the controversial hand-pass that lead to Erik Karlsson overtime-winning goal in Game 3. Players, fans and spectators of the Blues were not happy how the referees handled the missed call. This controversial call made the Sharks lead the series 2-1. After the loss, Berube told his players to move forward and focus on the next games. He even told them to not even talk about it with the media. The Blues ended up winning the next two games outscoring the Sharks 7-1.

The Blues are 2-0 when they had the chance to advance to the next round. In the first round, they beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 in Game 6. In the second round, they eliminated the Dallas Stars 2-1 in overtime in Game 7. The Blues try to keep their game simple.

Hertl and Karlsson Out. Pavelski Questionable

According to multiple sources, Sharks forward Tomas Hertl and defenseman Erik Karlsson will not play in Game 6. Captain and forward Joe Pavelski was able to make the trip but still remains a game-time decision. All three of the players suffered injuries on Game 5 when they lost to the Blues 5-0. This is a major loss, as both Hertl and Karlsson are key offensive pieces in the Sharks lineup. Defenseman Tim Heed is expected to fill in Karlsson’s spot. Forwards Michael Haley and Dylan Gambrell could both be in the lineup if Hertl and Pavelski are out.

“All three of those guys are important guys but if we have them, great, if we don’t, the next man up and we’ve got to find a way to get the job done,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said.

Sharks Discipline and Game Plan

In elimination games, the Sharks are 4-0 in this year Stanley Cup Finals. Their ability to be tough on elimination games puts more pressure on the Blues. With their key players out, expect a different Sharks offense. In the last two games, the Sharks offense was only able to score once.

Their best way for the Sharks is to remain disciplined for the rest of the game. Hertl has been one of the top penalty-killing players. In Game 5, the sharks had seven minor penalties that included two 5-on-3 opportunities. Having that much penalties generate less offense.

Blues projected lineup

Forwards

Jaden Schwartz — Brayden SchennVladimir Tarasenko

Sammy BlaisRyan O’ReillyDavid Perron

Pat MaroonTyler BozakRobert Thomas

Ivan BarbashevOskar Sundqvist — Alexander Steen

 

Defense

Joel Edmundson — Alex Pietrangelo

Jay BouwmeesterColton Parayko

Carl Gunnarsson — Robert Bortuzzo

 

Starting Goalie

Jordan Binnington
Sharks projected lineup

Forwards

Timo MeierLogan Couture – Gustav Nyquist

Evander Kane — Joe Pavelski — Joonas Donskoi

Melker KarlssonJoe Thornton — Kevin Labanc

Barclay Goodrow — Dylan Gambrell — Micheal Haley

Defense

Joakim Ryan — Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon — Tim Heed

Marc-Edouard VlasicJustin Braun

Starting Goalie

Martin Jones

 

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