Connect with us


Stars and Avalanche – Round Two Preview

Two Western conference heavyweights match up in the second round.

After a full season of battling for the top spot in the Central Division, the Stars and Avalanche are now set to fight for a ticket to the Western Conference Finals. The Avs looked like a different team in their first round series against Winnipeg, while the Stars came back from a 2-0 hole to win four of the next five games against the defending Cup champs. Both teams are riding the wave of momentum into what should be an excellent second round matchup. Let’s get into what we expect to see from these two Western Conference powerhouses.

The Stars

Dallas had a shaky start to the postseason, but they sure buckled down when it mattered most. When Jake Oettinger is on his game, I think the Stars are the best team in the West. We saw that in the second half of the first round series against Vegas, and against Colorado, he’ll need to be just as good. The Avs averaged more than five goals a game against Vezina favorite Connor Hellebuyck. If that continues throughout the playoffs, they’ll have no problem winning their second Stanley Cup in three years. For Dallas, the focus should be to slow things down. No one wants to get into a track meet with the Avalanche, but the Stars can beat them in tough, low-scoring contests. 

When it comes to their own offence, I expect to see Dallas make an effort to throw everything they can at Alex Georgiev. He was able to bounce back after a tough Game 1 against Winnipeg, but goaltending is probably still Colorado’s weak point. If the Stars can take advantage of their opportunities and clog up Colorado’s attack with good defensive structure and backstopping from Oettinger, I think they’ll be giving themselves a great opportunity to win this series. They could also do with a little more production from Joe Pavelski. Pavelski leads all active players in playoff goals, yet he was held pointless in seven games against Vegas. If they can get him going too, watch out. 

The Avalanche

Yes, the Stars are a more formidable opponent for Colorado, but the Avalanche deserve one after their domination of the Jets. After losing a wild opening game, the Avs outscored Winnipeg 22-8 in four straight wins to finish the series in five games. Their top dogs were all over the scoresheet like usual, but Colorado’s surprising depth in scoring made a large difference. Artturi Lekhonen, Casey Mittelstadt and Valeri Nichushkin all made valuable contributions and averaged over a point per game in the series. Since winning the Cup, Colorado has lacked that secondary scoring a little. If they can get it consistently again in this series, the team will be VERY hard to beat. 

Although Alex Georgiev may be a bit of a question mark, the defensive group in front of him is not. Besides Cale Makar, the Avs’ blueline is rounded out by Devon Toews, Sean Walker, Josh Manson, Sam Girard and Jack Johnson. The team made a great adjustment after allowing seven goals to Winnipeg in the first game, but with Dallas being a little deeper, every pairing Colorado sends out will need to be ready for a tough task. The Stars basically have three scoring lines, and if one pair for the Avs is lacking defensively, Dallas won’t hesitate to take advantage.

Stars and Avalanche – The Pick

We are so excited for this series between the Stars and Avalanche. Not only do I think this one goes seven games, but I also expect it to be the best series of the second round. We’ve got two heavy, tough, experienced teams going up against each other in this one, and it’ll make for some great entertainment. They may have different strengths and weaknesses, but like Carolina and New York, this is a very evenly matched series. At the beginning of the playoffs, I took Dallas to go all the way to the Cup Finals. Although Colorado looks more dangerous than I thought they would, I’ll stick with the STARS in SEVEN.

EASTERN CONFERENCE PREVIEWS: Carolina vs New York || Boston vs Florida

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Must See

More in Hockey