The Anaheim Ducks play host to the Dallas Stars Friday night in California. The biggest winner in California is the Powerball winner, let’s get that much straight. Gambling winnings aren’t taxable in California, are they? Taxable or not, the guy is making out with a good chunk of change, which is a lot of money to anyone regardless of their income. I wish I could have given you the winning numbers, but let’s at least try and find a winner tonight. Last night didn’t go so swimmingly, as the offenses were bogged down until late in the Rangers and Islanders matchup. Tonight we have a pretty good meeting on the west coast, with the Dallas Stars visiting the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks are still trying to get something going and find momentum, because their offense has been pretty stagnant for the greater part of the whole season. They just haven’t had any kind of reliable goal scorers on the roster. Corey Perry is trying to get going, but earth to Ryan Getzlaf, it’s nice you have 23 assists and all but you’re on pace for about 10 goals this season. Getzlaf enters against the Stars with 3 goals on the season.
While the Ducks have been lacking in finding firepower, the Stars have had no problems in that regard. Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza, you name it and there is offense on the team. But the Stars have also been a defensive team, they’ve achieved a nice balance of offense and defense. And actually, lately over the last month the defense has been playing better than the offense. That isn’t bad at all for the Stars, a team who was nearly last a year ago defensively. Dallas knew that if they wanted a better team the defense had to come around. They are certainly playing better hockey in that regard on the defensive end. To have any chance in the postseason, the defense needs to be clicking. The Stars remind me of the Avalanche from two years ago, and then the Islanders last season, a core of young talent that had breakout seasons. Well, the Avs and Isles went down in flames early in the playoffs, we’ll see what is in store for the Stars. Barring an epic collapse in the second half of the season and they miss the playoffs altogether, that is. Find my pick for tonight below.
Dallas Stars vs. Anaheim Ducks NHL Pick
It looks like the Ducks will be going with John Gibson in net tonight, which definitely isn’t a bad thing. While the offense has suffered, the goaltending has been good for the Ducks. Note that Gibson enters tonight with a 1.84 GAA in 18 games played. That equates to 1st in the NHL. The Ducks have a couple of studs in net with Gibson and Frederik Andersen. They are 6th in the NHL, allowing 2.33 goals per game. That looks good, but when you are scoring only 1.90 goals per game, last in the NHL, it results in a .500 record. The Ducks should be fighting for a playoff spot after so many years of comfortably cruising in.
The Stars are 1st in the NHL with 3.34 goals scored per game. It was to be expected with them. The goals were being produced last year as well, but there was no resistance defensively. The Stars are 16th this season on defense, which is a major improvement from nearly dead last a year ago. The total has gone 22-21 to the OVER this season for the Stars. You would think they’d just be in high scoring affairs, but not the case. In fact, the Stars last two games have been 3 goal games. The Ducks have allowed just 1.70 goals the last ten games, but have scored only 2.10. It looks like an UNDER game to me.
PICK: UNDER 5 GOALS (-120)