Few things are better than an entire slate of Saturday night NHL games, and we’ll look to find some more winners for you here at The Sports Geek. Thus far in 2013, we’re 4-1 in our featured games and we’ll look to improve upon that in tonight’s Blues/Stars showdown.
St. Louis Blues (-135) @ Dallas Stars (+115)
The St. Louis Blues were my pre-season prediction to win the President’s Trophy and the Western Conference. They have an incredibly deep line-up, filled with solid defensive play and goaltending. Coach Ken Hitchcock has his squad playing an impressive team-game, and the Blues are primed for big things the rest of the way.
They’ll be taking on a Stars team that will be starting their back-up netminder Saturday night, in NHL rookie Christopher Nilstorp. Nilstorp was a star in Sweden, but it remains to be seen how his game will translate to the North American style. Dallas has had their fair share of issues scoring this season, only managing 5 goals in their past three contests. Getting star forward Jamie Benn back for this game will help, but considering the fact that the Blues play the tightest defense of any NHL team, it’s not going to be easy for Dallas. St. Louis already has two shutouts on the season, and don’t be surprised if they record yet another one on Saturday evening.
One huge revelation for St. Louis has been the play of star rookie, Vladimir Tarasenko. Tarasenko has 6 points in his first four NHL games, and looks like the total package. The depth of St. Louis’ forward lines will prove problematic for a very average Dallas defense corps, and look for that to be the difference Saturday evening.
PICK = Blues (-135)
Bonus Pick #1: Edmonton (+105) The Oilers are riding a wave of momentum after Thursday night’s epic comeback victory over the L.A. Kings. They’ll roll into Calgary with swagger and easily dismantle a mediocre Flames squad with their flair, talent, and speed. Calgary looks old and awful thus far in 2013, and Edmonton will expose them in the Battle of Alberta.
Bonus Pick #2: Los Angeles (-135) The Kings will be fuming as they travel to the desert to take on the Phoenix Coyotes. After letting a sure victory slip away on Thursday night against Edmonton, look for L.A. to come out on fire Saturday night. The Kings remain winless after three contests, an unacceptable mark for a team this talented. They’ll face a Phoenix team struggling with injuries and starting their back-up goaltender Jason LaBarbera. Look for the Kings to end the drought, and get a much-needed victory.