Everyone who has read anything I’ve ever written knows I’m a stat nerd. I can’t help it; it’s just the way I am. I’d love to be able to watch a game and just enjoy it, not spending the entire time thinking about all of the numbers. But I can’t. Or I won’t? I don’t know. Either way, this Dallas Star postseason has been weird for me. Everything they’ve done has gone against the conventional stats wisdom. I’ve actually had to throw stats completely out and just go with my heart when betting on these guys. And my heart was always telling me to pick against the Stars.
Not only did the Stars seem incapable of not giving up goals, they also didn’t seem to pass the eye test on offense. Their passes weren’t crisp; their shots were off-target; and their stars were under-performing. But this team just kept on winning. And I kept saying how there was no chance they could keep up with this pace and it would catch up to them with the Avalanche. It didn’t. Then I said that obviously the Knights were the better and stronger team that’d be able to handle the Stars with relative ease. That didn’t work out either.
So here I am 0-3 on Stars playoff series that seemingly don’t fit any mold of stats or eye-test, and most people would think this would be enough to keep me from picking against them in the Stanley Cup. Surely James has to have found his senses now and is ready to ride with the Stars. Sorry, folks, it’s still not happening.
Maybe in some weird way I’m getting superstitious about this whole thing. I do live in Fort Worth, after all, and I’d like to see my friends happy if the Stars win the Cup. But at the same time, I just don’t see how they’re going to beat the Lightning.
Since all conventional wisdom clearly has to be thrown out the window with the Stars, I’m not going to spend time in this article talking about all of the statistical reasons why the Lightning are the better team. I’m just going to use my gut. And my gut tells me that the Lightning are a wagon. They were everyone’s pick before the playoffs started, and they steamrolled their way past the Blue Jackets, Bruins, and Islanders to get here. So why do they seem like the underdog?
I do think this series is going to be close, and I do think that the Stars will show up. There’s going to be a good battle of stars (no pun intended), but in the end, there’s just no way I can pick against the Lightning. So here I am, staking my career on the demise of the Stars. If they win this series and put me at 0-4 in my predictions, I might have to just quit talking sports altogether.
Series Prediction: Lightning in 6
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