Blues vs. Stars Pick – NHL March 15th

A strong showing by the Dallas Stars of late has them in outside contention for a playoff spot. But this can’t be a flash in the pan, at 32-27-7-3 they need to keep winning games down the stretch. They’ve gone 5-1 their last six games which is what they need at this point, but a 10-1 run is what they should be looking for. Well, every other team is looking for that too, but the Stars need it in a big way if they want to make it to the next level. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but what is separating them from that light and the bottom is 6 points. That is what it would take to catch the Winnipeg Jets who currently have 80 points and currently hold on to the 8th and final playoff spot. The Stars with a better defense would have easily been in a playoff position at the moment. Their offense is one of the best the NHL has to offer, but they can’t score 5 goals every night. The defense hasn’t been able to provide a well-balanced team, which will probably be the difference between them sitting at home this post-season.

The Blues seem to be all set in their quest in the playoffs to the finals. All that appears to be needed to be done is not choke come playoff time. They have done it before, like last season, but they were dealing some with injuries at that point in time. No excuses for the Blues this time around, who have had one of their best years scoring the puck in several years. The only thing worth noting on the negative for the Blues is that the defense has regressed since the start of the season. Brian Elliot was having the best campaign of his career in the first-half of the season, and the defense was playing well as well, but they’ve gone backwards the last couple of months. It is ideally best for teams to catch a hot goalie around the playoffs and not the start of the season. It is not like they’ve been bad, but not in the ballpark of the best defenses in the NHL.

St. Louis Blues @ Dallas Stars

Oh how the Stars wish they had a defense as competent as the Blues have, though. There have been no fluctuation from their defense, they have been playing pretty poor hockey throughout the season with no real high points to hang their hats on. Their offense, however, has been quite potent, and in fact have been one of the best in the league. Without the offense they wouldn’t have a hope in hell being where they are. But like I said, you can’t depend on your offense to score 5 times a night. That doesn’t work and it hasn’t worked for them either. Note that the Stars are averaging 6 goals per game in total. On offense they are scoring 3.12 goals which is 2nd in the NHL, only behind the Tampa Bay Lightning. That is the good, but the bad for the Stars equates to 3.23 goals against, which is 27th in the NHL. So in total they average 6.35 goal per game total. That easily eclipses 5.5, the normal total mark. They lean towards the OVER at a 39-30 clip this season. They’ve also been scoring well against the Blues lately with 11 goals in their last three meetings.

The Blues have been covering OVER bets as well, with a 32-22 ratio. This is a much more offended minded team this season than we have been used to seeing from the Blues. They average 2.97 goals per game and are 5th in the NHL in goal scoring. Coupled with the Stars, we have two top 5 offenses going head-to-head tonight. They should be able to score on the Stars who have been abysmal defensively. They’ve also been bad lately, as they have been all year, but have allowed 3.30 goals per game in their last ten games to go over their overall goals against mark of 3.23 against. This looks like an OVER winner to me on a bet that I thought would be priced a little higher than what we are getting.