Blackhawks at Stars Picks and NHL Betting Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 1/24/2013
Chicago was the first team in the league to reach three wins, and two of those wins have come away from home. They also lead the league in goals scored. Now they are out to become the first team to four wins, and they have to do it on the road as well. They are already off to their best start since they won their first three in 1972, so this start is unquestionably noteworthy. It hasn’t been an easy schedule, either. They started by playing in L.A. as the Kings hoisted their Cup banner. Then they played at division-winning Phoenix and then hosted division-winning St. Louis. Dallas is not a weak team, but they are likely the weakest Chicago has yet faced.
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Dallas is 2-1, so they won’t be easy to beat. They haven’t exactly lit the league on fire offensively, though — they have six goals in their three games compared to 14 for Chicago. The biggest surprise of the year so far has been the play of Jaromir Jagr. He’s about to turn 41 in less than a month, but with four points in his opener, including two goals, he definitely showed that he still has game.
Blackhawks at Stars Betting Storylines
Dallas isn’t making it any easier for itself on the contract front. Forward Jamie Benn was an all-star last year, and developed into a key piece of the team. Instead of helping the team out offensively, though, Benn is sitting at home in Victoria waiting for a new contract to get worked out. He played in Germany in the fall, so he could be ready to go in a short time. However, he doesn’t have a deal yet and may not for a while. His absence is a big distraction for the team, and since the team isn’t really taxing the scoreboard yet he would be a valuable addition. The Stars would be much easier to bet on with him in the lineup.
Dallas won’t be as ready or relaxed for this game as they hoped to be. They last played in Detroit on Tuesday night. The plan was to fly home Tuesday night and have a much-needed practice on Wednesday morning before resting up for the Thursday night game. They had an engine malfunction as they were awaiting takeoff in Detroit Tuesday night, though, and were forced to stay in Detroit another night. They didn’t leave Detroit until mid-afternoon Wednesday. Players are slaves to routine, so this could have an impact on the readiness of the team.
The game plan for the Stars needs to focus around one thing above all else based on what we have seen from Chicago so far: containing Patrick Kane. Kane has five points in his three games, and he has been on the score sheet in each game. He has been the driving force of this offense, and he is playing as well as he ever has. Goalie Kari Lehtonen and the Dallas defense has been excellent so far, so it will be an interesting matchup to see if they can contain Kane and the rest of the sharp Chicago offense. Given the lack of offensive spark that Dallas has shown so far, defensive strength is going to be key.
Blackhawks at Stars NHL Odds and Betting Trends
BetOnline has Chicago favored at -125, with Dallas as the +105 home underdog. The total is set at 5.5.
The “over “is 3-0-3 in the last six games Dallas has played at home as an underdog and 2-0-2 in their last four overall at home. The underdog is 5-1 the last six times these teams have met. Chicago is just 5-14 in their last 19 trips to Dallas.
Blackhawks at Stars Picks and Betting Predictions
Chicago is the pick here. They have been offensively impressive, and they should be able to continue that again here. Dallas has allowed just one goal in each of their last two games, but neither Detroit nor Minnesota have found their form on offense yet, so that’s not a good indicator. Phoenix scored three against Dallas in the opener, so it is possible to score on them. Chicago is by far the deeper team, they have better special teams, and they have performed very well on the road so far. Therefore, this is their game to lose. The price is more than fair.
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