Not an ideal way to start last night, as the Anaheim Ducks scored on a “goal” to open the scoring in St. Louis last night. The puck bounced around in front of the net like a pinball, ultimately landing on the glove of Antoine Vermette and into the net. It sure looked like Vermette gave the puck a subtle bump with his glove, which isn’t a legal play in hockey. The NHL review centre were either busy watching something else, or blind, because it was clear it wasn’t a good goal.
That set the mood for the rest of the night, with the Ducks ultimately coming out of St. Louis with a 3-2 win. Nonetheless, whether it was a goal or not, the Blues really have to learn to stop taking inferior opponents lightly. We go to Chicago tonight, where a Blues’ rival will be taking on the Dallas Stars. The Stars didn’t hit a jackpot in Las Vegas, but they did something that’s been a rare occurrence in the 2017-18 season.
The Stars dispatched the Golden Knights by a score of 3-0. A hat-trick from Radek Faksa was all the Stars needed to down the Knights. Radek did it all within the span of less than 10 minutes in the 2nd period. By the time the 2nd intermission arrived, the Stars were up 3-0 in the blink of an eye. It was a good win for a team whose best player tends to like the party scene.
The Stars didn’t catch the “Vegas flu”, but could they catch a hangover from Vegas? Dallas heads straight to Chicago following a dance with the Golden Knights in Vegas. The Blackhawks are coming off a back-to-back, destroying the Ducks, 7-3, and then falling the following night to the Preds, 3-2. The Hawks have had the Stars number over the last year. We’ll see if they can keep it going at the United Center on Thursday night. Get our free Stars vs. Blackhawks pick below.
Dallas Stars vs. Chicago Blackhawks Pick
Radek wasn’t the only one who had a nice evening for the Stars. Ben Bishop also came to play in Vegas. Bishop threw up a brick wall in front of the net, as he stopped 34 shots to support the winning cause. Bishop has been trying to find a home since he left Tampa, and he’s hoping to help the Stars alleviate their goaltending woes this season. The Stars haven’t had a quality starter since perhaps Marty Turco.
They alternated between Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen which never went so well, and now they’re hoping Bishop succeeds over the long-term in Dallas. He’s been adequate with a 2.62 GAA and 0.921 save percentage. That certainly isn’t 2013 to 2016 numbers as a Lightning, though. Bishop had the best year of his career in 2015-16 with a 2.06 GAA and 0.926 save percentage.
Bishop has typically been awful on the road this season despite a quality start against the Knights. He owns a 3.62 GAA and 0.887 save percentage on the road this year. In their previous four games, before landing in Vegas, they allowed 4.5 goals per game. Likewise, their record on the road has been bad, with a record of 4-8-0. The team has allowed regressed after playing well in their previous game defensively. Note that when they allow less than 2 goals, the next game they’ve gone winless in four attempts. The Blackhawks have also gone 5-0-0 over the Stars in their last five meetings. Dallas maybe didn’t fall victim to the Vegas flu, but I can see them having a Vegas hangover in Chicago tonight.
PICK: BLACKHAWKS (-140)