Phoenix Coyotes @ Dallas Stars Free NHL Pick 3/20/12
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The Coyotes just got a big two points against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday, and that put them in a tie for first place in the Pacific Division with the Stars coming into this week. That being said, we know that there are still some major issues with this squad, knowing that there is only a slender single point of leeway for getting into the playoffs. The four top teams in the division are separated by just one point. The offense has remained inconsistent this year for the Coyotes, and another iffy game against the Oilers showed that this weekend. This is a team that is still only averaging 2.5 goals per game on the campaign, and that ranks just No. 20 in the league. It is also the worst power play team in the NHL, scoring on just 13.3 percent of all chances. Ray Whitney and Radim Vrbata are both having good seasons, while Shane Doan has 21 goals on the campaign as well, but there just aren’t all that many players out there that are capable of going off for big offensive games.
The Stars were streaking at the outset of March, knowing that they had won six straight games. Two of those wins came in the shootout and two others came by a single goal, and in a division race that is this close, every single one of those points means a ton. Since then, Dallas has lost two in a row, and now, it is going to hope to get back on track with a victory on Tuesday at home. Michael Ryder has reached the 30 goal mark on the season, and the Stars are one of the few teams in the league that might have three men reach that mark this year. Jamie Benn still has an outside chance, while Loui Eriksson might be there as well with his 25 goals and 40 assists. These three and Mike Ribeiro all have at least 50 points this year, and those are the keys to keeping a team that just isn’t all that fantastic offensively going.
Phoenix Coyotes @ Dallas Stars Pick: The Stars aren’t that great of a home team, and at times, the ‘Yotes have looked better on the road than at home. We tend to think that Phoenix is going to get the job done, which could really put Dallas in a tremendous bind over the course of its last eight games of the year.
Free Hockey Pick: Phoenix Coyotes
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