The Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars close out their disappointing seasons in Texas tonight. Here are two teams who were staring down the barrel of success not that long ago, but are staring at their vacations in April this year around.
I don’t know which team it hurts more to miss the playoffs. The Avalanche probably expected some regression, but all the way to the back of the league. Conversely, the Stars regressed enough to watch their chance to build off last year’s success go up in flames.
The Avs and Stars are playing what amounts to a glorified exhibition game this evening. There is no pressure on either side. Whatever decisions management is making regarding players is not going to change either way after the final score tonight.
So, players can loosen up and play without any pressure on them. The real pressure for some members of these rosters will come this summer, stressing whether they’re going to see contracts renewed, traded, or released. After the season these two have had, moves are to be expected in Colorado and Dallas.
There is only one more day of regular season action after today, so let’s hopefully finish up strong. Like I said a few days ago, be sure to approach these games with a hint of caution. Turn down the units bet before the playoffs begin. In any event, let’s get straight to our Avalanche vs. Stars pick for Saturday in the NHL.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Dallas Stars Pick
There have been a lot of things we can point to that have gone astray for the Avalanche this season, but more than anything else, the defence has been getting pummeled at an embarrassing rate. When you say goodbye to Paul Stastny and Ryan O’Reilly to keep Tyson Barrie, you expect somewhat of a better defensive unit. It’s certainly not the case, as the Avalanche rank last in the NHL, 30th, allowing 3.38 goals per game.
The Stars don’t have much to talk about, as they are the only team that are better than the Avalanche defensively. Dallas are 29th, allowing an average of 3.17 goals per game. They’ve allowed 15 goals in their last three outings. The Avalanche, though, have surrendered a whopping 4.50 goals a game in their last ten games. In eight of their last ten, they’ve allowed 8 or more goals.
The defence is terrible in Colorado, but when you’re getting shellacked that badly, the issue of effort starts to look more apparent. The Avalanche are just looking to finish up this season and move on. I don’t see how this doesn’t turn into backyard hockey and the goals pour in frequently for this exhibition game. The OVER looks like the best pick in the NHL on Saturday.
PICK: OVER 5.5 (-110)