Date/Time: December 3rd, 8:00 p.m. ET
Television: NBC Sports Network
Moneyline: Chicago -205
The Chicago Blackhawks have already beaten the NHL betting lines against the Dallas Stars twice since the second week of November. They’ll try to do it a third time on Tuesday night at the United Center.
The Stars are one of these teams in the Central Division catching a really rough break. Over in the Eastern Conference, we have no doubt that Dallas would be in contention to be a playoff team. In the Central Division though, the team has the fewest wins with 12 in spite of the fact that it is only just below .500 with 12 wins and 13 losses. Even 28 points in 25 games, which would be good enough for a pace of 92 points, normally good enough to at least contend for a playoff spot, the Stars are in last place in the division. Things will play out as these teams play against each other for the whole season, and odds have it, Dallas is going to be the team which falters. There just isn’t enough taking advantage of opportunities. The only man on the team with more than seven goals on the season is C Tyler Seguin, and he has two of the team’s six power play goals for the season. The Stars are only converting on just over 10 percent of their man advantages, and that’s why they aren’t further up in the standings.
Chicago has to be laughing right now at the prospects of Dallas not having Seguin in the lineup for this game with an undisclosed injury. That might change some of the strategy for Head Coach Joel Quenneville, as he might want to use this game to give a few extra days of rest to G Corey Crawford with a back to back coming up on Thursday and Friday. The Blackhawks are coming off of a long road trip to the West Coast in which they started with a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche and closed with six straight wins. One of those wins came against these Stars in the front end of a back to back in a shootout on the road. If Crawford does sit, it won’t be G Nikolai Khabibulin who replaces him. G Antti Raanta has been excellent in his three starts replacing the injured Khabibulin to the point that he probably has earned the permanent backup role. Having a great team around him, perhaps the best in the NHL, certainly is helping, as the Blackhawks are stacked and are clicking on all cylinders at the moment.
We would feel a lot better about Dallas if we knew that Seguin was playing, but knowing that to be a game time decision makes this one tough. We think that the oddsmakers are giving too much respect to the Blackhawks right now in spite of the fact that they have what amounts to be the best team in the league. At nearly 2 to 1, we have to give a shot to the Stars in this Central Division showdown.
Dallas Stars @ Chicago Blackhawks Pick: Dallas Stars +195
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.