NHL Picks: Over-Powering Stars Will Crash Down On Blues In Game 7

Dana Lane

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 5:05 PM GMT

The end is near for the St. Louis Blues as the Dallas Stars finish them off in this Game 7. Let's review the NHL odds and cash in a ticket on this game!

St. Louis Blues vs. Dallas Stars
So let's not get too techincal about the reasons why I'm taking Dallas  as my NHL pick, because sometimes it's as simple as backing the home team but we can't stop there because that wouldn't be much of a breakdown fo the NHL odds.

The St.Louis Blues who haven't passed the second round of the playoffs in 15 seasons are just 1-3 in series clinching opportunities and are just 3-9 in their last 12 conference semi-finals games. They'll will break that streak if they can hold the Stars to just 14 shots again but I don't anticipate a reoccurrence of that. 

This is not a new opinion but it's been well documented how I feel about the Stars goaltending. I've have felt all season that the Stars offense has covered up their deficiencies in goal and the playoffs have been no different for Kari Lehtonen who has won six of his last eight games but in those wins the Stars have scored 19 goals have given up more than 30 shots only twice in those eight games. Even though we know that Brian Elliot is by far the better of two goaltenders I have very little confidence that the Blues can match the Stars firepower even though they clearly have the physical advantage. 

Brian Elliot
Speaking of Brian Elliot, it will be interesting to see how he bounces back after being lifted in the first period of game six after allowing 3 goals on seven shots. When asked about who will start in goal in game seven Ken Hitchcock said he would "Sleep on it".  I'm not too sure if I wouldn't have named Elliot the starter immediately just to let him know that the Hitchcock still has confidence in him. Jake Allen was the number one goaltender to start the season but Elliot emerged as the number one option after Allen got hurt. There is very little doubt in my mind that Elliot will start game seven.

One factor that isn't talked about as much in hockey is the home ice advantage but when there are gams of this magnitude I think it's a huge factor.  We saw the fans in Pittsburgh will the Penguins to victory in game seven against the Washington Capitals last night and I expect the same energy tonight at the American Airlines Center where the Stars are 31-16 (+6 units).  Dallas averages almost 32 shots per game at home and let's not overlook the fact that Lindy Ruff has the match-up advantage because the home team can match lines.  For example if Ruff wants a certain line to play against the Tarasenko line he has the ability to show his hand after Ken Hitchcock sends his line out. 

 

Conclusions
We have preached winning the special teams battle and win your face-offs and you should be in position to go deep in the playoffs so we are going to stick with the Stars, who's powerplay has connected at just under 28% in their last five games.

From a trend perspective the Dallas Stars have won 16 of their last 23 games and are 13-6 in their last 19 games against the Western Conference. @DanaLaneSports

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Free NHL Pick: Dallas Stars -102
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline