Dallas Stars @ St. Louis Blues Free NHL Pick 1/16/12
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For several weeks, NHL betting fans wondered whether the Stars were going to be contenders in the tough Pacific Division this year. They really don’t seem like they have the same type of talent level that the rest of the division does, and the team has been riding the coattails of Kari Lehtonen. That being said, Lehtonen has struggled of late, posting some very inconsistent results, including when he was awful in a 5-3 loss here in St. Louis the day after Christmas. His stats are slipping for sure, as he now only has 16 wins and a 2.52 GAA, numbers which are nowhere near what they were a month or so ago. As a result, the team is sliding quickly. Dallas is now in third place in the division and would be two points out of the playoffs if they started on Sunday. The Stars definitely have some work to do to improve, but if there is some good news, at least the team has been winning the games that have been going into overtime. Dallas has just one loss in OT or a shootout all season long. The Blues already have five shootout losses against just one win on the season in that category, so if this game stays level through 65 minutes, the Stars will have the edge.
Meanwhile, the Blues have been picking up steam over the course of the last few weeks, as they just aren’t going away atop the Central Division. In spite of the fact that the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings seemingly can’t be stopped, St. Louis is still the team that both are chasing. Four of the best six records in the Western Conference reside in this division though, so winning games like these against supposedly inferior teams in the conference are key, knowing that there are a number of games still to play against Chicago, Detroit, and the Nashville Predators. The Blues have only been beaten once in their last six games, and that came in OT against the Vancouver Canucks. In that stretch, the goaltending has been remarkable, allowing just a total of nine goals in those games. No one has scored more than three goals against St. Louis since December 18th when the Columbus Blue Jackets scored four in a defeat, and the last time that someone scored more than three goals in a victory against it was way back on December 3rd against the Blackhawks here at Scottrade Arena. No matter whether it is Jaroslav Halak or Brian Elliott in net, both are getting the job done, and both could be called on for superior efforts regardless of the game.
Dallas Stars @ St. Louis Blues Pick: We don’t talk about the Blues all that often, but perhaps we should. They are the real deal to say the least, and we think that they are going to be able to wipe the Stars away in a relatively easy victory on MLK Day.
Free Hockey Pick: St. Louis Blues
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