The Dallas Stars are hitting their first roadblock of the season. The Stars have had to face little to no adversity this season, because well, they just kept on winning. Lately we have been seeing the Stars get exposed some. Let’s not get it confused, the Stars haven’t been sinking like the Montreal Canadiens have the last month. In any case, the Stars haven’t looked like the unbeatable team we were watching for the greater part of the first three months of the season. I’m always somebody that says to take the first few months of a season in any sport with a grain of salt. Of course, football differs in that sense. But who knows, could the Stars go on an epic 3-15 run like the Canadiens just did? Before we jump to conclusions, the Stars have lost just three games in a row. Nothing to be proud over, but they are still in the driver seat where they are. Note that the Stars have an impressive 28-10-2. That is exceeding expectations for the Stars this season. We’ll see where it goes from here in 2016.
I say that the Winnipeg Jets are the most vanilla, average in the NHL for good reason. Every time I take a look at the Jets they are at .500. I haven’t written an article featuring the Jets in a couple weeks, and what do you think their record was then? Yeah, you guessed it, .500. I made the remark the Jets are going to get bumped off .500 either positively or negatively, once again they can get off the .500 mark against the Stars. I swear though, this team is destined to finish the season with a .500 record. I will come back to this later in the season. It sure would be a nice win for the Jets if they could send the Stars their fourth straight loss in a row.
The Jets will be looking to build off a nice 4-1 win over the Nashville Predators in their last game. All three of their previous games have followed a predictable pattern: 4-1 win, 4-1 loss, 4-1 win. The odds of that happening again are quite slim, but I have witnessed the same number come up four times in a row on a roulette wheel, so there’s that. Let’s get to the pick and hopefully a winner for Thursday night in the NHL.
Winnipeg Jets vs. Dallas Stars NHL Pick
By the looks of it, the Jets might be going with Ondrej Pavelec in net tonight, but this has not been confirmed. Pavelec has been bothered by a sore knee and has been off since way back in November. Rookie goaltender Connor Hellebuyck has been on fire for the Jets, posting a 1.93 GAA and 9-4 record. Pavelec was struggling before getting injured, with a 2.82 GAA and record of 5-6. The real story here though is how bad he has played against the Stars in his career. Pavelec owns a 3.71 GAA and 0.89 save percentage against the Stars. I would keep an eye on who is the confirmed starter. I would actually be surprised that Hellebuyck is sitting down despite Pavelec might being available.
In the last three games, the Stars have been playing a little like last season. The defense got torched last season and were among one of the worst in the NHL. In their last three games, the Stars have allowed an average of 5 goals per game, 6 each in their last two games. Kari Lehtonen should be getting the nod for the Stars in net tonight, who has registered a 2.85 GAA. Regardless of who is in net for the Jets tonight, I think the Stars come out with a strong performance after what they did in their previous three. I’m going to get a piece of the Stars to win big. Get this, the Jets have lost by more than a goal seventeen times in nineteen of their losses. They either win or lose big. I’m going with lose big tonight.
PICK: STARS -1.5 (+155)