2016 NHL Futures – Series Picks
Looking for Wild vs. Stars free series predictions & playoff picks? You’ve come to the right place if you’re searching for NHL Futures. It almost seems like it wouldn’t be an NHL Playoffs without the Minnesota Wild vs. Dallas Stars meeting. Cappers Picks covers all 2016 NHL Playoff series – so check back as we’ll be adding more.
NHL Lines & Matchup Insight
NHL Betting – Dallas Stars vs. Minnesota Wild First Round Series Preview and Picks
The Dallas Stars – the 2016 Central Division and Western Conference Champions begin their quest for the Stanley Cup on Thursday when they take on the Minnesota Wild – the second wild card from the Western Conference.
The Stars finished 22 points ahead of the Wild, but the season series was extremely close – three of their five games going to overtime with the Stars winning four of the five matchups. It will be Dallas’s top ranked offense that will be awfully difficult to stop in this one – the Wild and goaltender Devan Dubnyk will have to be special in order for Minnesota to have a serious chance.
So who wins this intriguing First Round series? Let’s take a look.
Wild vs. Stars Series Lines
Minnesota Wild OFF
Dallas Stars OFF
Minnesota Wild vs. Dallas Stars Series Schedule
- Thu 4/14, 9:30pm: MIN @ DAL | NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports
- Sat 4/16, 8pm: MIN @ DAL | NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
- Mon 4/18, 8:30pm: DAL @ MIN | CNBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
- Wed 4/20, 9:30pm: DAL @ MIN | NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports
- *Fri 4/22, TBD: MIN @ DAL | TBD
- *Sun 4/24, TBD: DAL @ MIN | TBD
- *Tue 4/26, TBD: MIN @ DAL | TBD
Wild vs. Stars Series Predictions: Forwards
There is zero doubt about which team has the better offense heading into this series. The Dallas Starts led the NHL from start to finish in goal scoring – the duo of Benn and Tyler Seguin has been almost impossible to contain from the outset.
There is some concern here however – Seguin missed the last eight games of the Regular Season with an Achilles injury sustained on March 14 against the Tampa Bay Lightning -there is no word yet about his availability for Game 1.
That said season veterans Jason Spezza and Patrick Sharp should play a big part in the series – they give the Stars one of the two or three best 1-2 line-combination punches in the game.
Depth after those lines has been a question mark all season long but the issues shouldn’t come to light until later on in the playoffs.
The Minnesota Wild on the other hand have been a middling offensive team – 16th in the NHL during the Regular Season in Goals For.
Zach Parise is a Stud but is questionable for the start of the series because of injury, Mikko Koivu had a typically solid campaign and fellow-first liner Mikael Granlund has been good for Minnesota.
Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter, Erik Haula, Jason Pominville, Jarret Stoll, Jason Zucker and Thomas Vanek offer some decent depth that will be crucial for the Wild to keep up with the Stars.
That said injuries down the stretch threaten to come into play as we head into the playoffs – the Wild forwards may not all be at their best which raises some huge red flags.
Verdict: The Stars have an obvious advantage here – even a fully healthy Minnesota Wild forward unit would have a difficult time keeping up with the Stars on the scoreboard. Just look at the numbers – Dallas was the #1 offense in the NHL this season – Minnesota was #16
Wild vs. Stars Series Predictions: Defense and Goaltending
Dallas’s biggest improvement in 2015-2016 was on defense.
They went from one of the worst defenses in the game to a middle-of-the-pack team. Alex Goligoski and John Klingberg may not be household names but they had a good season and they were terrific in the offensive zone.
Newcomer Johnny Oduya came over from Chicago and adds some veteran, sound defensive chops to a team that was in desperate need of an identity on the back end. Jason Demers, rookie Stephen Johns, Jordie Benn and Kris Russell provide good depth for a Stars team that looks OK for once on the back end.
Goaltending could end up being the Achilles heel of the Dallas Stars – Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi were just OK during the Regular Season. Lehtonen went 25-10-2 with a 2.76 goals-against-average and two shutouts while Niemi was 24-13-7 with a 2.67 GAA and three shutouts.
The Wild have long been one of the better defensive teams in the NHL – they ranked 10th in the NHL in goals against this past season and boast the like of Ryan Suter and Jared Spurgeon on the blue line.
Marco Scandella, Matt Dumba and Jonas Brodin are OK, not great for a Minnesota club that will seriously be tested in this series.
Devan Dubnyk was typically solid for the Wild during the Regular season – he gives the Wild a huge edge over the Stars between the pipes. He finished the season top 10 in almost all statistical categories and will need to steal a game or two if the Wild hope to upset the Stars.
Verdict: Overall the Wild may have the advantage over the Stars defensively but the edge is slight. The problem is that Minnesota’s defense will definitely be under siege and I don’t know if they have enough on the back end to slow the best offense in the game.
Wild vs. Stars Free Series Predictions:
There are some factors that haven’t been discussed earlier that have me leaning Dallas’s way. They enter the series on a six-game home winning streak and have home ice advantage over a Wild team that enters the postseason on a five game losing streak.
I suppose that Devan Dubnyk could rise to the occasion but my thought he won’t be enough to slow the best offense in the game. I expect the best team in the West to overwhelm what looks on paper to be an average-looking Minnesota team.
Take the Stars in five.
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