#### Poll

Why are you watching the Stanley Cup playoffs?

# Leading Off: Sharks will defeat Kings, probability

Published: Tuesday, May. 28, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C

If you know nothing about hockey – or even sports, for that matter – predicting tonight's winner in Game 7 of the NHL's Western Conference semifinals looks as easy as picking a number between six and eight.

Let's see: The Sharks lose the first two games to the Kings in Los Angeles, win the next two in San Jose, lose in Los Angeles and win in San Jose.

The Kings are defending Stanley Cup champions. They've won all six postseason home games this spring and haven't lost at Staples Center since March 23 – that's 13 in a row.

So after we punched all the numbers into the calculator, checked the alignment of the stars and moon, then tossed a few blades of grass into the wind to see if they blew south, we came up with a conclusion: The Kings will win Game 7 tonight in Los Angeles.

Logical, right? Except you can roll over that logic with a Zamboni.

The Sharks will win tonight because they have more Game 7 experience as a team and as individuals than the Kings do.

The Sharks are 5-2 in Game 7s while the Kings are 3-4. San Jose's last Game 7 was a 2011 victory over Detroit. L.A. hasn't played a Game 7 since 2002, when it lost to Colorado.

The Sharks, as individuals, have played in 31 Game 7s combined.

Los Angeles has combined for just 15 Game 7 appearances.

Consider the calculator wrong, the stars and moon unaligned and the blades of grass blowing north.

Experience trumps probability every time.

### What to watch

NHL, Sharks at L.A. Kings, 6 p.m., NBCSN: The home team has won the first six games of this Western Conference semifinal series.

### Today's poll

Why are you watching the Stanley Cup playoffs?

• I'm a Sharks fan.

• I'm a hockey fan.

• I'm not watching.

### Monday's poll results

Can Brittney Griner save the WNBA?

• Yes, she's a star: 32%

• No, it should fold: 18%

• I don't care: 50%

Call The Bee's Victor Contreras, (916) 326-5527. Follow him on Twitter @SacBeeVictor.

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