The throwback series between Stars and Avs begins tonight. Back in the glory days, we beat them back-to-back in the Western conference finals, and this year it will be a virtual conference final as we are easily the two best teams in the West.
Yes the Avs are sick year and the only team I was worried about beating coming into this, but that doesn’t mean I think they’re better us. I’m just not as confident as last series. Still, Stars +240 is a slap in the face by Vegas and if it wasn’t going to make me rich I would be pissed about it.
You should pound this as well. Here’s why…
Miro > MacKinnon – everyone is obsessing over Nathan MacKinnon and for good reason, but Miro Heiskanen is the best young player in the league. He’s possibly even the best defenseman right now. As I said in the last blog, he is Zubov reincarnate especially in the playoffs.
Miro is just as deadly on offense as MacKinnon and he’s a shut down defender as well. Give me a stud d-man over a stud forward any day. Just like Zubov got the better of Sakic, Miro will get the better of MacKinnon.
Goaltending – the jury is still out on Grubauer as a good goalie, much less a good playoff goalie. He is 18th in the league with a .919 sv%. Who’s first in the league? That would be Dobby at .930. Our Russian > their Nazi.
We also have a second goalie in Ben Bishop who finished 10th in the league in sv% and has been an absolute god in the playoffs over the past five years (including last year). He’s been nursing an injury for awhile but he should be healthy enough to start one of the back-to-backs in games 5/6. That’s huge.
Back in the glory days, Belfour vs Roy was a goalie battle for the ages. This year, it’s a bit lopsided.
Depth – The Avs are known for their top studs, but we have a full squad. The only weakness is our third pairing of d-men, but that doesn’t matter when Miro and Jamie ‘The Big Rig’ Oleksiak are playing half the game.
Veteran Grit – unlike most sports, grit usually wins out over youth in the NHL Playoffs. That’s why the Avs lost to a garbage ass Sharks team last year. It’s also reason #2 (behind bogus officiating) that we lost to the cup-winning Blues in seven games last year.
Since then, we’ve added Corey Perry and Captain America JoePa Pavelski. They’ve been killing it in the playoffs so far. The Avs can skate fast and that’s cool, but they’re gonna have to stay fully healthy all series for that to matter. Ask Tkachump about that.
The Stars have some youth too, by the way. The aforementioned Miro, Roope Hintz, and Denis Gurianov is the best Euro trio in the league.
The Avs have a mild advantage in youth/finesse maybe. We have a huge advantage in grit/physicality for sure. Overall advantage: Dallas Stars easy.
Season Series Sweep – we swept all four games in the season series. I know the Avs finished higher in the standings, but how on earth can we be a +240 underdog to them? Lock it in