The Dallas Stars fly to St. Louis following a lackadaisical performance last night in Texas. A lack of goal scoring hurt the Stars again, as they fell by a score of 3-2 against the Minnesota Wild. If the Stars are serious about a deep run in the playoffs, an acquisition at the trade deadline likely wouldn’t hurt. They should have a help wanted sign for offensive players on their locker room door.
Having said that, the Stars have to be careful about shipping too much away only for a rental. They still have a good team that just needs a bit of a boost in the offensive zone. This is a stark contrast to what we saw approximately five years ago from the Stars. They were all offence and no defence. Now the script has flipped, and the defence is carrying the load.
The front office addressed what had to be fixed, which was an abysmal defence. They managed to do that, but forgot that they still have to score goals to win games. That’s especially true for this era of the NHL. Goal scoring is critical to keep up with some of the fast paced offences in the league now. It isn’t like they don’t have offensive talent on this team, either. They even acquired former Shark, Joe Pavelski, this past offseason to bolster the offence.
His presence must help in the locker room, but his on-ice work could be better. After recording 64 points in his final season with the Sharks, Pavelski is not going to match that. He has just 24 points going into tonight, so he’s well off pace of expectations. Tyler Seguin continues to lead the Stars with 40 points, with 11 assists and 29 assists on the year. Alex Radulov and Roope Hintz are tied for the lead in goals at 15 apiece.
The Stars get no favours on Saturday, as they have to play the Blues in St. Louis on a back-to-back. They could be doing it an important man down offensively, as Radulov is listed as questionable to play against the Blues tonight. He had a collision against the Wild last night and left the game thereafter. It’s an upper-body injury and head coach Rick Bowness is not sure if he will be ready to suit up and play in St. Louis tonight. For a team lacking offence, that’d hurt against the defending Stanley Cup Champions. Head below for our free Stars vs. Blues pick.
Dallas Stars vs. St. Louis Blues Betting Odds:
Stars vs. Blues Prediction:
Radulov’s injury does not appear to be serious, but if it does turn up to be something concerning, then the Stars might be in deep trouble. As I noted, Radulov is tied for top honours on the Stars in the goal scoring department. He is also second on the team with 31 points, so his absence would be hard to swallow for the Stars in St. Louis tonight. Beyond Radulov and Hintz, Jamie Benn and Pavelski are the only Stars in double digits in goals.
Benn is a guy who has regressed from previous years. I hate to put the blame on one guy, but if he’s playing up to his full potential thi season, then the Stars likely aren’t in a goal scoring drought like they’ve had throughout the season. Seguin is doing all he can, but the usual sure handed duo has been held back by Benn’s production. Hintz has taken over as the No. 2 man on the first line for the Stars.
Dallas has scored an average of 2.63 goals per game for 26th in the NHL. The Flames are the only team worse in that regard that are currently in playoff contention. In their previous ten games, they’ve dipped to just 2.4 goals per game while allowing 3.4 goals against defensively. So, the defence that was carrying the load, hasn’t exactly been there for them recently. It really hasn’t been there much on the road in 2019-20. Despite the Stars being 3rd in the league with 2.54 goals allowed per game, that number isn’t accurate on the road.
The Stars have yielded 2.85 goals per game on the road, mainly due to Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin’s drop in production outside of Texas. Khudobin has been phenomenal at home with a 1.49 GAA and 0.941 save percentage, but he hasn’t been as amazing on the road. He hasn’t been bad with a 2.61 GAA and 0.924 save percentage, though it’s a significant decrease from his outstanding figures at home in Dallas. The Blues have been excellent defensively at home, having allowed just 2.37 goals per game. They’ve also been effective offensively, with 3.37 goals scored at home. It equates to a terrific record at home of 18-5-4. Expect the Blues to get this one done against a tired legged Stars team.