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Stars vs. Canucks Pick – NHL December 17th

This game features a couple of teams that I am not sure anyone knows where they are going to land come seasons end. I don’t even think the teams are confident in what is going to happen. Most notably, the Canucks are somewhat of a wild-card as we go into 2015. They have started off relatively hot, and better than many pundits expected, but a lot are waiting for them to fall on their faces and regress backwards. It could be happening at the moment, because the Canucks have lost their last four games. Add a couple more and panic mode may set in there. The problem is that the games haven’t even been that competitive. If the Canucks were in those games and fighting then I would give them the benefit of the doubt, but they lost by more than a goal in three of those four games. Including last game where they got worked for a 5-1 final against the New York Rangers. This streak happened after they beat the Penguins decisively for a 3-0 win. I don’t know, maybe they got the mumps from Crosby or something. They’re still at 18-10-1-1 so they are in good shape still, but like I said, collapse a little further and people are going to be saying that this is the Vancouver team they were expecting this season. Whatever the case, they’ll look to bounce back against the Dallas Stars tonight.

The Stars could be a pretty good team if they knew how to play some defense. Because the goal scoring is there on Dallas, but they are just giving up far too many goals to give themselves a fighting chance. At 11-13-4-1 they will have a fighters chance of earning a playoff position, but I would say it is pretty doubtful. The Stars have been a team in flux for the past several years, flirting with .500 is pretty much par for this team. Without a change on the defensive side, I don’t see how they can do much better moving forward this season. However, they are certainly a team that might be able to throw a scare towards the Canucks tonight.

Dallas Stars @ Vancouver Canucks

Defense has really been a liability on the Canucks side as well. Specifically lately, where the Canucks allowed 17 goals in their losing skid. That accounts for an average of 4.25 goals allowed per game. On the season Vancouver is giving up 2.83 goals a game, which is in the middle of the pack. If you want to talk about a team that is lit them up in recent memory, though, it is the Dallas Stars. Note that the Stars have scored 16 goals on them in their last three meetings, going further back, that number is at 23. 23 goals in five games gives the Stars an average of 4.6 goals scored against the Canucks the last five games. Yes, the Stars won every one of those games.

On the other hand, looking at the Stars’ defense, things are extremely dire. The Stars are dead last in the NHL, allowing 3.52 goals per game. The Stars went through a stretch of four games from November 28th to December 4th where they allowed 5 goals straight in each of them. They responded allowing only 1 goal to the Canadiens, but then came back and got blasted against the Winnipeg Jets, a team that finds it difficult to find any form of offense. The OVER has hit 70% of the time in the Stars and Canucks last ten meetings. Looking at the numbers it is easy to see why. The OVER 5.5 looks like a worthy bet here on Wednesday night.

Pick – OVER 5.5 GOALS (-103) @ 5dimes.eu (Best Odds)