Predictions: Stars Will Win, Or Lose, To The Predators If?

April 10, 2019 - 3:37 pm
Categories: 

DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - The Dallas Stars begin their quest for their second Stanley Cup title tonight against the Nashville Predators. The Fan hosts preview the series below!

Jared Sandler:

The Stars are way better positioned to make a playoff run this year than 2015-16 season. That year they were a soft team that could score but not much else. Those styles are not conducive towards playoff success. This year, they’re much more willing and capable to get physical and win games between the pipes and on their blue line. 

But let’s get to the series...

The Stars have more scoring depth and playmaking depth than maybe they get credit for, but not sure it’s enough to tout as an advantage against Nashville. The streaky power play will need to get going and hopefully the return of Zuccarello gets them a playmaker who can make it click at even strength. If the Stars win this series, obviously Ben Bishop will need to play well, but I think Miro might have something of a coming out party with the way he controls the game and, in general, the Stars need to win the battles in the front of the net. 

The Predators depth is unreal. Look up and down their roster and it’s impressive. I love the Simmonds and Boyle acquisitions. They get really physical, especially in front of the net. Bishop doesn’t always handle that too well. Tuuka Rask struggled in the playoffs last year but he’s still just one year removed from the Vezina. 

Prediction?

Ultimately, give me Bishop over Rask and Stars in 6! 

Shippy:

Stars-Predators has quickly transformed into quite the rivalry and this first-ever postseason meeting between the two will only reinforce the animosity the two squads have shown towards each other. The Predators went 3-2 versus the Stars in the regular season and the road team was victorious in four of the five meetings. Both teams are as healthy as they’ve been all year long, and in my opinion this is about as even of a match up as there is in the NHL playoffs.

The Stars will win this series if Ben Bishop is able to stay healthy and continues playing at the elite level he displayed during the regular season. I think the addition of Mats Zuccarello and emergence of Roope Hintz will also play a significant role in this series. Hintz has the type of speed the Predators must respect and Zuccarello is the best playmaker the Stars have. The depth of the Predators is a major concern for me. Brian Boyle is the type of under-the-radar player that could give this team issues, especially in front of the net.

The Stars are well-equipped and play the right brand of hockey to make a postseason run. It’s cliché to say they’re a team nobody wants to face, but I truly believe that’s the case with the Stars. I believe their combination of excellent goaltending, attention to detail defensively, and a f****** horse**** performance from a couple of forwards ;) will carry the Stars on to the second round of the playoffs. Give me the Stars in 6. 

Gavin Spittle:

Entering this series, the Stars are healthy which hasn’t been said much this year. They also have a lot of confidence and finished the season strong. The Stars have the capability to win this series because they have a top 2 Goalie tandem in the NHL that minus injury, hasn’t shown many flaws at all this year. The flashes of Mats Zuccarello show that he’s the best passer for the Stars on the ice. Any attention paid to him opens up linemate Jamie Benn. Predators goalie Pekka Rinne dominated during the 2017-18 regular season which got him the Vezina but he struggled in the postseason with a 3.07 Goals Against with a .904 Goals Against. If the Stars can capitalize on scoring chances early, last year’s playoff disappointment will once again come to the forefront.

All that said, the depth of Nashville is tremendous. You are something special if you come out on top of this division. Put this in perspective. If the Stars had traded for Wayne Simmonds, you probably would be looking at him on the wing on one of their top lines. He’s playing on the 4th line for the Preds. They are also tremendously deep with their top 6 on the blue line. They don’t stick out on any stat line but they are playoff hardened and know what it takes.

Prediction?

Sorry Stars fans, you know I want the Stars to win and I hope they do. That said,  I’ll take the Preds in 6.

Kevin Hageland:

Possibly lost in all the hoopla of Dirk Nowitzki's retirement is the fact the Stars are in the playoffs for just the third time in 11 seasons.

And while Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin still lead the way for the Stars, the perception surrounding the franchise is far different than their last appearance three seasons ago when Dallas was the it team after winning the Central Division, leading the Western Conference in points and pushing the Blues to seven games in the second round.

That Stars franchise was primed for big things, perhaps ready to take over the NHL like they did at the turn of the century. However, here we are three years and two coaches later and the Stars enter the postseason as decided underdogs (only 5 of ESPN.com's 18 experts picked the Stars to win in the first round and all did so in seven games) against a Nashville Predators squad making its fifth straight playoff appearance and still, no doubt, looking to make good on a 2016-17 postseason run that ended with a loss in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Why the Stars will win?

Defense and goaltending.

Yes yes, I'm well aware the Stars scored the third-least goals in the NHL this season and the Predators have a more potent offense (led by wingers Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg - both amazing names), but the postseason is the time when defense shines. And with the announcement that Ben Bishop (dare I say the Vezina Trophy favorite) is ready to start Game 1 and more-than-capable backup Anton Khudobin in tow, I think Dallas can grind Nashville down.

Why the Stars will lose?

If they don't put together a sizable special teams advantage.

Both the Stars and Predators have top-notch penalty kills, but the big difference is on the other side of the man advantage. While fans at the AAC have no doubt had issues at times with Dallas on the power play, the team is above league average while Nashville is dead last with a power play conversion rate of 12.9%. If the Stars don't take advantage of that discrepancy, they will be in trouble.

Prediction?

Stars in 6

The hell with convention or what the other experts say, the Stars have finally developed an identity under first-year head coach Jim Montgomery. That was evident throughout the second half of the season and will truly shine in the playoffs.

Cory Mageors:

Stars Will Win If?

If they stick this new identity they’ve developed over the last couple of months. They’ve built a brand that makes things ugly, grinds and wears down their opponent. That keeps the score close and makes up for a lack of secondary scoring. A game like that a few times throughout the series pushes it to 7 games.

Stars lose if?

Ben Bishop isn’t healthy enough to start 4 games. I think Dobby can win one or two, but you’re more likely going to get the electric play and experience you need from your horse. Bishop can be the wall in the net, but if he is in too much pain to make it, Nashville will outperform them.

Prediction?

Predators in 7