Round robin action will continue on Wednesday, as the top-four seeds in both the East and West will jockey for position for that top spot entering Round One.
If there was any worry about the quality or intensity of these matches, that notion was quickly put to rest likely in the first period of their first games.
Colorado endured a gruelling match with the defending Stanley Cup champs from St. Louis. It was a tense, back-and-forth contest, before centre Nazem Kadri pushed the puck over the line with 0.1 seconds to go. Cutting it close! That was a big win for this young Avs team, who are clearly ready for the post-season to get going.
Conversely, the Stars liked their game for stretches on Monday vs. Vegas – but conceded the game later. Up 3-1, the Stars allowed Vegas to storm back, blowing that two-goal lead. Stars coach Rick Bowness has talked about the importance and opportunity Dallas has in securing that top-seed, though they’ll now likely need to win out in order to accomplish that.
This should be a great game between two of the top seeds in the West. Both Dallas and Colorado have been marred by playoff failures in past seasons, and want to set the right tone as they prepare for their upcoming best-of-7 series. Continue reading on beneath the odds for team news, a tactical analysis, and our betting prediction as the Stars look to get in the win column against the Avalanche.
Stars vs. Avalanche Betting Odds:
Dallas Stars (+120)
Colorado Avalanche (-133)
Over 5.5 (+110)
Under 5.5 (-123)
*Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Stars vs. Avalanche Pick:
If it wasn’t clear to casual hockey viewers before hockey resumed in August, it became clear after a couple periods of watching Colorado vs. St. Louis on Monday. This Avs’ team is loaded with skill, and they’re quite likely the fastest team in hockey. Led by the blazing pace of Nathan MacKinnon, the Avalanche come at teams in waves. And though the Blues did well to withstand the onslaught, it could only endure so much. If St. Louis struggled to handle Colorado, can Dallas reverse that trend?
Statistically, Colorado boasts a big edge in shot metrics and scoring chances compared to Dallas. Colorado is one of the top-3 5v5 clubs in hockey. Dallas meanwhile enters this clash hovering around the top-12 mark. One of the main issues for the Stars has been their depth options. It seems like when their top guns aren’t firing in Tyler Seguin, Denis Gurianov, and Jamie Benn – Dallas struggles to generate offense consistently.
Against an Avalanche team that can definitely score through three-lines deep, the Stars will both need to brush up on their play without the puck, and try to find some offense from unlikely sources.
Ultimately don’t expect Dallas to be able to generate too much against Colorado. Stylistically it is a bad matchup for their group. There isn’t enough speed within their forwards to keep up with Colorado, and though much of Dallas’ strengths are concentrated along their back-end, it likely cannot withstand a constant 60-minute barrage from Colorado’s skill forwards.
With both teams seemingly treating these round robin matchups as an early peek at playoff mindsets, expect another stellar effort from a hungry Colorado squad eager to take that crucial next step. At a slight favourite price, Colorado is great value to continue their roll on Wednesday vs. Dallas.
Pick: Colorado 3-1