The Dallas Stars get back on the ice after a nice little break since Sunday. They took an ugly loss, as the Canucks pummeled them for a score of 6-0. The Stars must have started their break a day early. Nevertheless, it was only their first loss in the six games. The Stars enter with a healthy record of 33-20-2. The difference for them this season has been the defensive effort.
They’ve had offence for years now, but the defence has severely lacked behind. Things have been a bit different for the Stars in 2017-18. The Stars are currently in possession of a wildcard, so there is time for them to choke away the postseason. The Ducks, who are the first team sitting out, are 3 points behind them at the moment. It wouldn’t take much to set them back, but they’ve been doing everything right now.
Well, almost everything right, because a bad Canucks team belted them for a 6-0 final. Losing to bad teams down the stretch may come back to haunt them. Every game is going to be important from here on out, and the same could be said for the Blues. The Blues are 34-21-4 and have been off and on this season. If the playoffs started this season they’d be in, but something has been amiss with them.
Jake Allen not playing up to par has certainly put a damper on things in St. Louis. If Allen played up to his full potential this year, I don’t think we’d be talking about the Blues playing like there’s something amiss. As it is, Allen holds a 2.74 GAA and 0.908 save percentage. He’s allowed Carter Hutton to come in and take his starting job away, but Allen will have his opportunities to take the job back. Head below for our free Blues vs. Stars pick to get the weekend started in the NHL.
St. Louis Blues vs. Dallas Stars Pick
Head coach of the Stars, Ken Hitchcock, was dumped by the Blues last season unexpectedly in the middle of the season. The Blues and Stars have played a couple of times since, with a split in December. St. Louis has won five of the last six meetings, though, with a win for the Stars snapping a five-game winning streak for them. Like I said, the Stars’ defence has improved immensely. They’ve gone from a bottom feeder to near the top of the league. The Stars are 5th with 2.61 goals allowed per game. For the Blues, despite Allen having a down year, they’re 4th in the NHL, allowing 2.56 goals per game. Hutton has done a nice job stepping in for Allen.
The Blues are coming off a couple of losses against the Penguins and Predators. It was hard fought, but they dropped a 4-3 decision to the Preds in overtime. In their last ten games, they’ve scored 2.8 goals per game while allowing 2.2 per game. Conversely, the Stars have looked good with 3.3 goals per game and 2.3 allowed per game. With that said, Dallas has been the better team lately. However, I don’t think they should be this pricey. I get it that they’re coming off a bad loss and lengthy break, but I think the Blues have a better than +120 chance of winning this one. The Blues had an extra night off, so they should be fresh here, too. As dogs on Friday night, the Blues are worth a look in Texas.
PICK: BLUES (+120)