The St. Louis Blues finally got past the first-round. After so many years of promise and expectations in the playoffs, the Blues have reached the second-round of the postseason. The Chicago Blackhawks looked like a big road block for the Blues, but they escaped the Hawks in Game 7 of their first-round matchup. I said if the Blues can get by Chicago, then they might be in store for a deep playoff run. However, they’re going to have another battle on their hands against the Dallas Stars. In other words, the Blues cannot be content with just winning a playoff round.
They’re going to have a high-octane offense on their hands this round. Sit back and the Stars will jump all over the Blues. Brian Elliott did not look great in the first round, he can be great, but he looked shaky against the Blackhawks. Elliott will be under fire in this series. The defense needs to do a much better job helping Elliott out as well.
The Blues were helped out of the goal posts in Game 7, as a shot from the point rattled off both posts. Meanwhile, the Stars were saved by an inch against the Minnesota Wild in the sixth game of the series. That was a wild one, with the winning goal coming off a botched play from Devan Dubnyk. The puck popped up in the air, with Dubnyk losing track of it, and he backed up with the puck in his own net. The offensive effort from the Stars was too much to overcome, as the Stars took the Wild down in six games, a 5-4 winning effort.
Against a better team, I think they would have been in trouble there. The defense had issues and they needed 5 goals to make it past the Wild. Defensively, the Stars had the same problem during the regular season. It goes back to last season, where the Stars finished nearly last in the league. They are not that bad now, they improved, but the defensive end leaves a lot to be desired for a team seeking a Stanley Cup. We’ll see how they handle the Blues this series, who do have a better offense than the Wild. Find my pick for the first pick of the series below.
St. Louis Blues vs. Dallas Stars NHL Playoffs Pick
The Blues were fortunate enough to secure home-ice advantage in the previous round against the Blackhawks. Against the Stars they’re going to be on the road for the majority of the series. The Stars have enjoyed a solid record of 30-11-3 at home, while the Blues have done pretty well on the road themselves, with a record of 26-14-5. The way I see it, the Blues are the much more complete team. But the Stars finished 1st in scoring this season. They scored an average of 3.3 goals per game through the first-round. However, in their last four games, they’ve allowed an average of 4 goals per game.
Likewise, the Blues’ defense hasn’t been as proficient as they’d like it. They have allowed 3.75 goals per game in their last four games. The offense has been the catalyst for both teams through the majority of the playoffs thus far. I have no faith in the Star defense suddenly getting going. Nor, do I have much faith in Niemi or Lehtonen in net. Conversely, Elliott has the ability to pick it up. In any event, the offenses have both been playing well and I look for it to continue tonight. Sign me up for a bet on the OVER.
PICK: OVER 5 GOALS (-120)