The San Jose Sharks and Dallas Stars dance in Texas tonight, as the Sharks look to finish up the season strong going into the playoffs. The Stars on the other hand are just looking to wash away the filthy taste in their mouth from how this season has transpired.
It’s too late for them to make any kind of comeback, or at least, it would take a small miracle for it to happen. Mostly, then, the Stars are hoping to finish the season up strong and find a silver lining. Yeah, there really isn’t a silver lining to find with this team no matter how you split it.
They went from being atop the NHL a year ago, to losing a tough seven game series in the playoffs to the Blues, and now, they’re 16 points away from the playoffs. In other words, no, the Stars are not going to be featured in the postseason in 2016-17. I think this is a team who are going to be stuck in a downward pattern over the next few years.
The core of the Stars is not going to be hold up for much longer, whether it’s transactions, or age. I’m looking at you, Jason Spezza, when I refer to age. Hard to believe that Spezza is already 33 years old. I still recall the days he was playing in the OHL. He’s had a hard time staying healthy this season, but can still be beneficial player when he’s playing at full-strength.
It isn’t like there is no talent on this team. It’d be a rather absurd statement, a team that has Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn. Patrick Sharp gave the Stars a lift last year, but at the age of 35, time has seemed to catch up with him this year. They wanted to trade him at the deadline, but were unable to because of an injury. Nothing has really gone their way at all. Not much went our way last night, as our pick fell in Nashville. Back at it on Thursday night, looking for a successful pick in Texas.
San Jose Sharks vs. Dallas Stars Pick
There are a lot of things you can look at that have gone wrong with the Stars this season. The most telling, though, by just looking at numbers, is how poorly the goaltending has been. Dallas was in Chicago last night, where they fell to the Blackhawks in a shootout by a score of 3-2. Kari Lehtonen took the loss, while he might get the night off tonight against the Sharks. This is a rematch of the 20th, which saw the Stars eke by the Sharks, 1-0, on the back of a Lehtonen shutout.
We haven’t seen it often the last two years, but the Sharks are stuck in a funk at the moment. They are entering Dallas with four straight losses, including only 4 goals scored in those games. In any event, though, it’s better to get it out of the way now, rather than in the playoffs when the games really start to count. I don’t like how this one is setting up for the Stars. They just got done a hard battle all the way up in Chicago last night, and then have to fly home to play what should be a hungry Sharks’ roster. The Sharks get the job done tonight in Dallas. For our Sharks vs. Stars pick, we like San Jose.
PICK: SHARKS (-139)