NHL Hockey Betting: St. Louis Blues at Dallas Stars

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

The Canada vs. Russia 2.0 matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals we featured yesterday turned out to be as good as advertised with the ‘good guys’ (or at least the team with Canada captain Sidney Crosby) got the win on ‘Hockey Night in Canada’ minus any Canadian teams. Another excellent matchup this afternoon as the St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars play in Game Two of their best of seven Western Conference Semifinal Series. Dallas caught the Blues coming off their grueling seven game series with the Chicago Blackhawks and took the win in Game One. The Blues will try to respond today to even things up at a game apiece.

In many ways, the Stars present a similar challenge as did the Chicago Blackhawks. They’ve got plenty of scorers but can be disrupted by physical play, particularly in the offensive zone. St. Louis needs to do more of that in Game Two. They also need to significantly crank up the defensive intensity. They allowed the Stars to take 42 shots on net in Game One of this series. They’ve not been good about minimizing opponent opportunities all throughout the playoffs. They gave the Blackhawks way too many chances to score during that series but were able to emerge victorious. Goaltender Brian Elliott has been a huge part of that but at some point goalies wear down from facing a barrage of pucks night after night.

Many observers were surprised to see the Blues favored in Game Two of this playoff series. I wasn’t–it reflects the sense of urgency for St. Louis in this game (and things like this *are* ‘baked into the line’) and the parity between these teams. Dallas was a -115 favorite in Game One facing a St. Louis team coming off of a seven game series facing a rested opponent. The ‘right line’ might be ‘pick’em’ for this game. St. Louis should be better here and they need this win more. Dallas can’t expect to get 42 shots on Elliott this time around. Everything about this series–much like the Washington/Pittsburgh series–suggests that it will go six or seven games. That pretty much necessitates a St. Louis win on Sunday.


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