NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Rangers vs. Stars (October 29)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: New York Rangers center Vincent Trocheck
Rangers vs. Stars Odds
|Time||2 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Rangers came flying out of the gates with an impressive 4-1-0 record, but have since dropped four consecutive contests.
Meanwhile, Dallas has played to a stellar 5-2-0 mark and sits atop the Central Division, while the Rangers are in fifth in the Metro.
Is now the time to buy the hype with the Stars, or could this be a good spot to back a Rangers side which, by most accounts, was expected to achieve far better results than Dallas this season?
New York Rangers
New York's slump is shocking after it's first four games of this season, which had me reevaluating my beliefs about exactly how good this Rangers side could be.
However, when we really boil it down, the slump hasn't been as bad as it seems. This could be a great spot for a rested Rangers side to get back on track.
The Rangers played a tough mid-week back-to-back against the Avalanche and Islanders. New York claimed just a single point from that set, though that's not indicative of the Rangers overall play.
The Rangers controlled play to a 53.36 xGF% in those two contests and certainly could have fared better with regards to the actual results, but overall the process was quite strong.
On the season, New York's underlying metrics are considerably better than we saw throughout last season as it has a 55.79 xGF% across all strengths.
New York has shown the ability to be very opportunistic in front of goal with it's strong combination of elite playmakers and stellar shooters, led by the duo of Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad.
My belief is that the Rangers could still shake out with a better roster than a season ago, especially if guys like Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko can take steps forward and if K'Andre Miller continues his incredible trajectory on the back-end.
Kakko has shown some strong signs in the early going, more so than his two points suggest, and is a guy who could breakout with some better offensive results in the near future.
Igor Shesterkin rested Wednesday versus the Islanders and should start this contest.
Shesterkin has followed up last season's brilliant Vezina-winning campaign with a +3.2 goals saved above expected rating and a .916 save percentage in five appearances this season.
Dallas has come out of the gates hot, posting a 5-2-0 record throughout the season's opening eight contests and a strong 54.38% expected goal rate.
However, since Dallas' triumphs over the Predators and Jets to start the season, we have seen the offense look slightly stale — generating an average of just 2.40 goals per game.
It's a bit nitpicky to say such over a small sample size when the team is winning, but Dallas' greatest concern a season ago was a lack of depth scoring.
Mason Marchment has shined and both Tyler Seguin and Wyatt Johnston have also posted solid results, but I'm not entirely convinced the offensive depth is on par with other elite teams in this league.
Miro Heiskanen is listed as day-to-day and attempting to secure any updates on that situation closer to puck-drop is important as his value to the Stars is immense.
Jake Oettinger has followed up his otherworldly performance versus Calgary last postseason with a quality beginning of the campaign. He's playing to an unreal .960 save % and a +9.6 goals saved above expected rating.
Rangers vs Stars Pick
When I think about these two rosters, it's very clear in my mind which has a greater ceiling this season. This is is a strong spot to sell high on the Dallas Stars and get involved with a Rangers team that is far better than it's 3-3-2 record.
The Rangers will likely prove to be the better of these two sides this season, particularly if Heiskanen remains sidelined. We are really getting a strong number at +100 to back New York.
There's also a slight chance Dallas elects to start Scott Wedgewood in this spot and I believe there is almost no chance New York won't start Shesterkin.
A Wedgewood start would likely move the Rangers to slight favorites, but even if Oettinger starts, New York at +100 is a solid play.
The home losses to the Sharks and Blue Jackets were disappointing efforts, but this team is far better than that.
A similar effort here will likely earn a better result and I like getting the Rangers at plus money against a Dallas side that I am reluctant to believe is as good it appears through seven games.
Pick:New York Rangers +100 (Play to -115)