Teams that are dab smack in the middle of the playoff race in the Western Conference square off in NHL betting action on Tuesday night when the Dallas Stars face off with the Detroit Red Wings in Big D.
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The Red Wings are in the heat of the fight and are starting to really look like one of the more talented teams in the league coming into 2012. Jimmy Howard is having a fantastic season, more than making up for the suspect year that he had in 2010-11, and if he can keep this up and win 40-45 games, he could be a Vezina Trophy candidate when it is all said and done. Of course, the offense for the Wings is always one of the most electric in the league, and this year’s is no exception. Some of the aging veterans don’t have the same sort of impact on the team now as they did in the past, but others like Pavel Datsyuk are really stepping up their game. Datsyuk is the team’s leading point man with 39 through the first 38 games of the season, and he is going to be one of the catalysts that has to carry this team in the second half of the year if it wants to run down the Chicago Blackhawks atop the Central Division and challenge for the best record in the West.
No one really thought all that much of the Stars coming into this season, especially after watching Brad Richards go to the New York Rangers via free agency. It’s hard to believe, but the squad might be better off this year than it was a season ago. Kari Lehtonen is doing a great job in net, and though he has cooled off from the start of the campaign, he still has solid numbers. This all comes in spite of the fact that the Stars rank dead last in hockey in terms of shots per game allowed, something that generally isn’t all that good of news when you consider that they also are only No. 21 in shots per game on the other side of the ice. However, there is no doubt that Dallas has to be on a high right now. The team is coming off of a win over the Boston Bruins at home in its final game before the new year’s break, and if you can beat the Bruins, you can beat anyone in hockey.
Detroit Red Wings @ Dallas Stars Pick: We love the fact that the Stars are flying high right now, and we love the fact that the Red Wings are just 9-11 on the road even more. We tend to think that this is going to be a suspect road trip at best for Detroit starting tonight, and Dallas will snare the two points to get 2012 off on the right foot.
Free Hockey Pick: Dallas Stars
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.