Dallas vs Minnesota Pro Hockey Odds
The Central Division champion Dallas Stars take on the wild card Minnesota Wild in the opening round of the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs. The first game will be Thursday night in Dallas. There will be a lot of history in this series, particularly when the series shifts up north, because those same Dallas Stars used to be the Minnesota North Stars, but Norm Green, then the owner of the North Stars, brought his team south to Texas, leaving one of the great hockey regions of the continent without a team until the league granted the Wild an expansion franchise. In the regular season, the Stars finished an eye-popping 22 points ahead of the Wild — who also finished the regular season with a five-game losing streak. Even so, these are the playoffs, so let’s take a look at what might happen in the NHL betting lines.
Dallas Stars vs Minnesota Wild Pro Hockey Odds
Why should you bet on Dallas to win?
For the entire regular season, no team has scored more goals per game than the Dallas Stars, and they also have a wicked power play that ranked fifth in the league for the season. The Stars have won six consecutive home games, and they get the first two of this series at the American Airlines Center. Jamie Benn, who won the NHL scoring title last season, posted 41 goals for the season. It’s been 22 years since a Star broke 40 goals, when Mike Modano tallied 50 in 1993-94. Jason Spezza has found his scoring touch lately, posting a hat trick in the regular season finale against Nashville, giving him 33 goals for the year. The Stars can overwhelm the opposition when it comes to puck possession and a zooming offense.
Why should you put your money on the Wild to win?
The Stars have shown a propensity this season to play some awful defense at certain points in the season, and if they take the Wild lightly, they will find themselves down 2-0 at the end of the first of Game 1. To be fair, a lot of that porous blue line play came when there was a rash of injury in the D corps for Dallas, though. The Wild will need Devan Dubnyk to have an unreal series in net. He has been decent since the All-Star game, posting a .912 save percentage (.927 in March). Dallas sends pucks at the net all game long, ranking third in the NHL in shots on goal per game. Dubnyk will have to control rebounds and manage possession so that this does turn into a speed game. The Wild will also need to play terrific special teams.
Expert Pick and Final Series Prediction
A lot of people have questioned the Stars’ status as a front runner this season, but to be honest, they have answered their critics down the stretch. They should be able to dominate this series against a Wild team that is young and talented but still much too raw to be a real contender in these playoffs. I’m predicting that Dallas wins in five games.