Crazy Stanley Cup Playoff Prediction Has Wild Beating Stars In Game 3

Doug Upstone

Monday, April 18, 2016 12:00 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 18, 2016 12:00 PM UTC

The best of the West Conference has done just that in the Stanley Cup playoffs, as Dallas has built a 2-0 lead over Minnesota, though the last victory was not without controversy.

The first goal of Game 2 in the Lone Star State was initially ruled 'No Goal', but was overturned on replay which to this reporter's was shaky at best. Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk,  who became the "victim" of the goal, might well have put it best.

“It’s mind-boggling the outcome of that play in the playoffs,” said Dubnyk, to the Pioneer Press. “It’s not the ref’s fault. He waved it off. You tell me how they come up with conclusive evidence to overturn the call? It’s crazy. The ref made the right call on the ice. Somehow they have enough to overturn it in Toronto.”

Feeling this level of frustration and heading back to the Twin Cities down 0-2, the Wild fans ought to be wild with anger and really ready to support their beleaguered squad.

Checked the NHL odds and they have Dallas as a -130 favorite with total of Ov 5 (-120) at Intertops. Does Minnesota have any shot to make this a series?


Minnesota Has to Play with Controlled Rage
Lost in the controversy, the Wild actually played well in Game 2, as they trailed 2-1 after a power play with just over seven minutes remaining. Minnesota did not allow Dallas to play as usual tempo after the first period, which was scoreless, and actually held the high-scoring Stars to just 14 shots the final 40 minutes.

Being at home, Minnesota has to pick the aggressiveness, not only in hitting, but apply more pressure on Dallas goaltender Keri Lehtonen, who has stopped 47 of 48 shots he's faced. This does not mean play faster, since they could get steamrolled playing that style against the Stars, rather, short crisp passes that make Dallas defend and putting the puck on net and having somebody in front for rebounds or redirects.

Dubnyk has been good between the pipes but he needs to be great, if he does not want his team to fall behind 3-0.


Dallas Knows What to Expect, Yet is Overconfidence an Issue?
The Stars were fortunate on overturned call and though Saturday's contest was tighter, you never had the feeling Dallas could actually lose. Their chances for sweep or at least a short series have been bolstered by the return of Tyler Seguin, who played in Game 2 after sitting out 11 contests with left Achilles injury.

Coach Lindy Ruff will try to convince his troops Minnesota will be a different more desperate club at home, however, the players know they do not have full complement of scoring resources and in three trips to the Xcel Energy Center this campaign, they have come away with three victories.

It is supposed to be the playoff focus matters. Even if Dallas gives another workman-like performance, that might be good enough, but as anyone making NHL picks or Stars fans for certain, this team has laid a few colossal eggs on the road. This makes this a matter desire rather than talent.


What to Expect and Winner
Realistically, this is a contest Dallas should win and be ready to nail the coffin shut on Minnesota. The Stars are 16-4 off a home win by one goal the last two seasons and have three consecutive wins in the land of 10,000 still rather chilly lakes.

Nonetheless, this is the Wild's one real chance to make this an intriguing series and Dallas is only 11-20 when riding a three-game winning streak (it is at four) and with Minnesota having lost seven straight without much offense , they are 8-0 at home after four or more consecutive Under's the past three years.

In boxing vernacular, this would be known as having a "puncher's chance", which is why we will lean with the Wild at +110 to find a way, anyway, to escape with a triumph.

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NHL Pick:  Wild +118
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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