Here are Today’s NHL Picks:
Blues @ Stars
This Game 7 features two evenly matched teams. Dallas had a chance to close the series out in Game 6, but St. Louis was the opportunistic team as they ran away with a 4-1 victory to force Game 7 in St. Louis. Now, can the Blues pull off what they did against Winnipeg by winning on the road then coming home and finishing a series?
As always, the goalies take center stage in any seventh game. It has been a strange series where both goalies have been good to pretty good. Both teams are 1-2 at home in this series as the road team has looked a little bit too much at home. So far, it has been truly a strange second-round affair. Here are what the goalies’ numbers look like:
- Jordan BInnington: 3-3 with a 2.56 GAA, .914 save percentage.
- Ben Bishop: 3-3 with a 2.69 GAA, .909 save percentage.
Binnington’s quality starts came in Games 1, 5 and 6 while Bishop had quality starts in Games 2,4, and 5. It is not surprising that the only “goalie duel” was in Game 5.
With the way this series has gone, the likelihood of a goalie duel in Game 7 is low. This series has had too many ebbs and flows. Look at how Game 6 played out. It has been kind of a microcosm of this entire series. One goalie makes the timely stops and the other ones does not. Yes, it was not fair what happened to Ben Bishop but again that is a symptom of the altering of goalie pads. In order to increase scoring, the league took steps to alter equipment where they could. That result arguably caused Ben Bishop’s injury, goal, and the competitive end of Game 6. Fortunately, Bishop is okay and ready to play in Game 7.
Why is there a heavy focus on the goaltending? At some point, a team needs their goaltender to bail them out. Bishop did that in Game 5. Binnington did so in Game 6. Who gets the job done in the final game?
Finally, the third key is this. It will be intriguing to see which top-six unit sustains its production first. During the latter portion of this series, it was Dallas in Game 5 who rode their top-six and then St. Louis countered, almost like clockwork, during Game 6.
If St. Louis is to win this Game 7, they will need some depth scoring besides the Tarasenko line. Jaden Schwartz has looked good all series long and has been taking. Getting the crowd into the game early will be vital. Finally, special teams have their place as well and that is a slight edge to Dallas (four goals to two). Dallas needs its top line to step up more consistently like the rest of its middle-six has so far. St. Louis’ key player is Jaden Schwartz right now with four goals and two assists in the series. For Dallas, it is Tyler Seguin who has five points (two goals) in the last four contests. Therefore, the following signs indicate a few directions to go when it comes to betting lines, etc.
Our betting rationale is mixed for this tilt. St. Louis has been in this spot before against Dallas and won a Game 7 easily. Also, the over has been 3-0 in Game 7’s this year. By the way, the Vegas official over/under is 5 which opens the possibility of a push or better as five of the six games have seen 5+ combined goals.
1u – STL Blues MoneyLine @ -135
1u – Over 5.5 total goals @ +150 (Value Play)
1u – STL Blues PuckLine (-1.5 goals) @ +220
By Chris Wassel