**ALERT** Burns' ONE & ONLY NHL GAME OF THE YEAR!!: This is the BIG ONE. Ben Burns' NHL GAME OF THE YEAR. While we have to lay some extra juice, Ben believes EVERYTHING SETS UP PERFECTLY for this favorite to simply DEMOLISH its opponent. In fact this situation is 100% PERFECT ON THE SEASON. Don't wait for the line to climb higher, as it likely will. Get down on this BEHEMOTH right NOW!
Game: Dallas Stars at San Jose Sharks Mar 31 2012 10:35PM
Prediction: San Jose Sharks
Grade: Winner (100)
Reason: I'm playing on SAN JOSE. There are a number of reasons why I really like how this one sets up for the Sharks. For starters, I feel that they're the more talented squad. They're also playing at home. Additionally, they had yesterday off while the Stars were busy playing a late game at Vancouver. However, perhaps the most important reason I like the Sharks is that this truly is a "must win" game for them. Currently, their chances of making the playoffs are less than 50%. But, they're still far from done yet. While "must win" games certainly don't always win, I believe this team has the coaching, character and talent necessary to respond with its very best effort. San Jose coach Todd McLellan had this to say of his team's mindset: "WE LOST A SET OF BACK-TO-BACK GAMES AND SCORED ONLY ONE GOAL. WE SHOULD BE DOWN. BUT (FRIDAY) WE'LL PICK OURSELVES UP OFF OF THE MAT AND GET READY TO SWING...” Heading into the Vancouver game, the Stars are only 20-18 (20-16-2) on the road. Meanwhile, the Sharks are 24-15 (24-12-3) at home. Of course, the Stars are one of the teams that Sharks are trying to overtake to make the playoffs. I feel thats is also significant that the teams will face each other again, at Dallas on 4/3. That should add even more urgency (not that they need it!) to the Sharks' play, while it may make the Stars feel that even if they lose here, they can still take care of business for the rematch at Dallas. It should be mentioned that the Stars have been terrible when playing the second of back-to-back road games. The last time that they were in that situation was on 3/14, at Winnipeg. They lost that game by a score of 5-2. (Regulars will recall that I successfully backed the Jets in that game.) By my count, the Stars are a simply atrocious 1-12 on the season when playing the second of back-to-back games, including an 0-2 mark against these same Sharks. The lone b2b win came at home against lowly Minnesota, too. The Wild, who are a terrible road team, were also playing the second of b2b games in that one - and entered the game on a 2-8 streak overall. So, the Stars are WINLESS on the season, when playing on the road, after playing the previous day. In other words, one would be 100% PERFECT on the season, if playing against the Stars each time that they played a road game, following a game the previous day. True, we do have to lay some extra juice to back San Jose here. However, when considering that this is actually the lowest line on the Sharks for any of the last 11 meetings (vs. Dallas) here at San Jose, and the price starts to seem far more reasonable. Lastly, the Sharks are also 3-0 and have outscored the Stars by a commanding 16-4 margin, the last three times that the teams met here at San Jose. While it still may not be enough to get them in the playoffs, I expect the Sharks to rise to the occasion and get it done here. *10