Second round series opener on Friday is our NHL Free Pick of the day. HRWager examines the start of the series between the St. Louis Blues and the Dallas Stars. St. Louis is the series favorite at -130 despite the fact that they do not have home ice advantage. The opening game on April 29th has the Stars as the moneyline favorite. We will look at the duality of this right now here at the HRW.
NHL Free Pick : Change of Pace
Dallas might experience a high level of frustration this series. In their first round matchup against the Minnesota Wild, fans all over the league loved the dynamic play on both sides of the puck. In fact, the Stars did lose games by the scores of 5-3 and 5-4. If they let in anywhere near that level, their expectation of doing well in this series is very low. Unless the on ice talent a franchise has is so much greater than the other, the winning formula in the playoffs is defensive hockey. Can the Stars give the body, lay down in front of shots, and deal with the pressure of low scoring games? Too often it takes a game to see the sense in this approach. Look for loose play from the Stars with the Blues having the better chances despite being in Dallas this evening.
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One team has a star on the shelf for injury while the other is taking more of a time out for petulant behavior. Tyler Seguin has a nasty partially cut Achilles tendon for Dallas. He is not able to skate yet. This is a freaky type of injury with the timetables for return much more in the air. They really need him to help penetrate a sometimes very snug St. Louis defense. For the Blues, Vladamir Tarasenko got four goals in that war against the Blackawks and saw his time cut for Game Seven. His attitude and clearly physical tells of displeasure about wanting to be on the ice more has resulted in the opposite occurring. Look for him to have his playing time lowered instead of raised at the start of this seven game set.
Brian Elliott in goal for St. Louis is superior right now against either option in net for Dallas. Main reason that the Stars are the favorite at -117 ML on Friday is that St. Louis is in recovery mode from a Game Seven. Look for the Blues to have trouble scoring from their own fogginess on ice instead of what the Stars throw at them in net. Pace will be more deliberate after the Blues weather the initial storm of ten minutes in the opening period. The total for this one is five with the under near +110. HRWager urges their customers to plunder the under five goals in our NHL Free Pick of the Day. Good fortune and we will see you tomorrow here at the HRW.