NHL Hockey Betting: Dallas Stars at St. Louis Blues

NHL Hockey Betting:  Dallas Stars at St. Louis Blues&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The St. Louis Blues will try and advance to the Western Conference Finals on Monday night as they play Game Six of their best of seven series against the Dallas Stars at home. St. Louis holds a 3-2 lead and can eliminate the Stars with a victory on home ice. Dallas, on the other hand, will be trying to win the game to force a decisive seventh game in Texas. The Blues turned in a very convincing 4-1 win in Game Five to take control of what had been to that point a very evenly played series.

Dallas has several issues that they’ll need to resolve if they want to keep playing hockey. The first is the necessity of getting more shots on goal. They got only 28 shots on goal in Game Five which made for an easy ‘night at the office’ for Blues’ goalie Brian Elliott. The other major issue is the play of their own goaltenders. Kari Lehtonen allowed 3 goals on 21 shots which negated a decent defensive effort from his team. Much of the disarray in goal for Dallas is not the fault of the goalies. They have to do the best they can playing under Lindy Ruff’s absurd goaltending ‘rotation’. Actually, a rotation would at least make sense though still be inadvisable for a playoff team. The Stars goalies don’t have a clue when they will be playing and once they’re in net no clue when they’ll get the hook. It all seems very arbitrary with the only determination of who starts a given game being the goaltender that Ruff is less mad at for the moment.

St. Louis does things the right way in terms of goaltender management. That means that a very talented goalie in Jake Allen has sat for the entire playoffs but although he might not like the inactivity he understands the reasoning behind it. The only way to win a Stanley Cup is with a definite number one goaltender. It’s the only way a goalie can get confidence in himself and the only way a team can have confidence in their goalie. That reason alone could end up determining the outcome of this series and send St. Louis through to the conference finals.


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