Stars vs. Rangers Odds, Preview, Prediction: Will Dallas Spoil New York’s Home Opener? (October 14)
Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Tyler Seguin
Dallas Stars at New York Rangers Odds
|Over/Under||6 (+100 / -120)|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
One night after opening their season with a loss in Washington, the New York Rangers return home to host the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.
The Stars and Rangers both came into the season with similar expectations. Neither team is expected to contend for the top of its respective division, but both clubs are projected to be in the thick of the playoff race.
While their preseason expectations may be similar, these two teams couldn’t be further apart in how they go about their business. The Rangers are a team built on offensive talent and playmaking pizzazz, while the Stars are committed to their defense-first identity.
Styles make fights, as they say.
The Dallas Stars have had a pretty clear identity over the past three seasons. The Stars focus on playing a well-structured game that lets their defense do the talking.
Last season, Dallas was the third-best team at preventing high-danger chances, finished seventh in expected goals rate and allowed the third-fewest goals in 5-on-5 spots.
Dallas’ defensive stability is pretty well known at this point, but its offense could be underrated heading into the season.
The Stars finished in the bottom 10 in goals scored and expected goals for, but they did manage to finish seventh in high-danger chances created. The Stars’ struggles to score could also be chalked up to the fact that their two best playmakers — Tyler Seguin and Alex Radulov — were limited to a combined 14 games.
Despite the injury issues, several players on the Stars produced at impressive clips. Jason Robertson took the league by storm in his rookie campaign, Joe Pavelski notched 25 goals, Denis Gurianov continued his upward trajectory and Roope Hintz tallied 43 points in 41 games.
Robertson will not play on Thursday night due to injury and Radulov is questionable, so be sure to monitor his status.
New York Rangers
You can’t put much stock into one game, especially when it’s the debut of a new head coach in a highly emotional rivalry match, so I won’t go into last night’s result for the Blueshirts.
Known for their offensive ability, the Rangers were actually a pretty ordinary offense in terms of creating scoring chances, but they were the eighth-best scoring offense at 5-on-5 with an average of 2.59 goals per 60 minutes.
You don’t need to create bushels and bushels of scoring chances when you have the type of talent that the Rangers possess.
Like the offense, the Rangers’ goaltending situation also seems pretty much sorted. Igor Shesterkin is one of the game’s better young netminders and is coming off a season where he posted a .916 SV% and a +3 GSAx. He gets the nod on Thursday.
Where the Rangers may run into problems is on defense.
That may sound wonky since this is the same blueline that employs Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox, but after him, there are question marks.
K’Andre Miller showed some impressive flashes in 2021 but he’s still only 21 years old. Jacob Trouba’s career on Broadway has been up and down. Patrik Nemeth and Jarred Tinordi have all shown to basically be replacement-level rearguards to this point in their respective careers.
Though they did improve from their defensive horror show in 2019-20, the Blueshirts still ranked inside the the bottom-10 in high-danger scoring chances allowed at 5-on-5 last season.
Gerard Gallant should have the Blueshirts playing a better structured game, but I still have my doubts about this defense.
Stars vs. Rangers Pick
I am pretty high on the Dallas Stars this season. From a COVID outbreak to a winter storm that shut down their schedule to just plain bad luck, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for Dallas in 2020-21.
Despite all of that, the Stars were able to stick around in the playoff picture and put up some very strong play-driving metrics last season.
The Rangers pack a serious offensive punch, but the Stars are well-equipped to handle it.
Additionally, I still have reservations about a Rangers defense that finished 22nd overall at preventing high-danger scoring chances.
Pick: Dallas Stars +105 or better