October 31, 2016

NHL Hockey Betting: Dallas Stars at Columbus Blue Jackets

NHL Hockey Betting:  Dallas Stars at Columbus Blue Jackets&h=253&w=372&zc=1

Were it not for the Nashville Predators (who in all fairness have dealt with a nasty bout with food poisoning in the first 10 days of the season) the Dallas Stars would be the most disappointing team in the Western Conference. The Stars are 3-4-1 to start the season and have lost four of five coming off a 4-0 debacle at Minnesota on Saturday night. Columbus is off to a so-so start at 3-3-1 but they’re coming off a nice 4-0 win over Anaheim. It’ll be interesting to see how they do in the first full season under head coach John Tortorella. He can’t be too disappointed with his team’s record at this juncture as the schedule has been brutal so far (home games against Boston, San Jose, Chicago and road games at Dallas, Los Angeles, San Jose and Anaheim).

One of the problems that Stars’ head coach Lindy Ruff is dealing with is a spate of injuries that has compromised the team’s depth. They just found out that forward Ales Hemsky will miss up to six months after hip surgery and forward Patrick Sharp (concussion symptoms), center Cody Eakin (knee) and forward Mattias Janmark (knee) are still on injured reserve. All four players are listed as ‘out indefinitely’. For the Jackets, defenseman Ryan Murray is listed as ‘questionable’ though his prognosis is favorable as he practiced on Monday. No official confirmation of the starting goalies but it’ll most likely be the starters for both teams with Antti Niemi going for Dallas and Sergei Bobrovsky between the pipes for the Jackets.

Columbus has been through so much drama and so many injuries over the past few seasons that many people have forgotten how good this team can be. Seth Jones is starting to become a stronger presence on defense and fiery head coach Tortorella has a roster that is generally to his liking. Jackets have been an excellent investment in non-conference play even during their struggles of the past two years. In that time frame they’re +14.2 units against Western Conference opponents. Jackets split two games with Dallas last year when the Stars were one of the best teams in hockey and won 3-0 on the road earlier this season.