dallas stars vs st louis blues predictions and preview

  • NHL

NHL dallas stars vs st louis blues predictions and preview


 

 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

 

 

The Avalanche had the most points in the Western Conference this season and in one of the conferences semifinals playoff series host the Blues in Game 1 on home ice. The Blues have won their last three games and beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2 in their last playoff series. They are the third seed in the West and they played great defense in winning the last two games of their last series. You can be sure that defense will be tested by an Avalanche team that ranked fourth in the NHL this season in goals per game (3.76). The Avalanche have had a long rest after sweeping the Nashville Predators in their first-round playoff series. They outscored the Preds 21-9 in the series and it is Stanley Cup or bust for the club. Colorado has won six of their last seven home games facing St. Louis. The puck drops at 930pm EST.

 

Turning On the Defense

After losing two games in their last playoff series giving up 11 goals the Blues defense came up big in winning their last three games only allowing five goals. The team ranked 11th in the regular season in goals against per game (2.92) and they have given up nine goals in their last two games, both losses, facing Colorado. Jordan Binnington started the last three games for the Blues in this series and I would think he would get the start in Game 1 with how well he played in those games. While he had a GAA of 3.13 in the regular season, he has a GAA of only 1.67 in the playoffs.

 

 

 

Not only did the Blues defense come up big in the last three games of the last series but their offense did as well, scoring five goals in all three games. St. Louis had a very balanced attack in the first round with David Peron, Ryan O'Reilly, and Vladimir Tarasenko all tied for the team lead in the post-season with five goals. The Blues are relatively healthy heading into Game 1 with the Avs but DF Marco Scandella is questionable with an injury. St. Louis won two of three games on the road in their last series and they are 9-2 in their last 11 road games.

 

Get It Done in the Semis

The Avalanche have won 16 of 18 games in the last three seasons in the playoffs in the first round but have failed to progress to the conference finals in any of those seasons. Their attack killed it in the sweep over Nashville where they scored at least five goals in three of the games and seven goals in two of them. The big question for Colorado is will they be rusty, as they have not played in the last nine games. Darcy Kuemper ranks second in the league in the playoffs with a GAA of 1.63 and he missed the last game of the first round after taking a stick to the face but he is recovered and will get the call in between the pipes in Game 1.

 

 

 

The Avs had four players with at least three goals in the last series led by Nathan MacKinnon, who had five goals and lit the lamp in every game. Cale Maker came up big in the last series with 10 points with three goals and seven assists. Mikko Rantanen had 36 goals in the regular season and while he did not score in the last series, he did have five assists in the four games. While the Avs had the most home wins in the west and won both home games on ice in the last series they did lose to the Blues at home in the first game of the season for both teams.





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