Jeff's (JH-Sportsline) NHL Spotlight teams are squads that will make the playoffs (and/or improve by at least 15 points) after missing out the previous year. Jeff is a now a six-time NHL Handicapping champion documented by The Sports Monitor of OK. Jeff cashed a record 78.6% in 2013 NHL regular season and 70% in the Postseason. Jeff was ranked No. 3 in 2015 and ranked No. 1 in win percentage last season. Do yourself a favor and jump on board. Full season NHL packages are now available.
Jeff's 2017-18 NHL Western Conference Spotlight Team: DALLAS STARS (2016 record: 34-37-11, 79 points)
In all my years of writing this piece there has never been an easier selection for me than the Dallas Stars in 2017-18. They disappointed big time last season but made some key moves that should propel them to the playoffs. Obviously, they missed said playoffs last year so they are a good bet to bounce back with renewed focus this season. Those 79 points were the lowest total for Dallas in five years. The Stars made it a mission this off-season to fix what needs to be fixed by adding a legitimate #1 goalie in Ben Bishop. The goal-tending in Dallas last season was a major reason why this team struggled. They allowed 268 goals. Only Colorado (278) was worse. That's going to improve this season as Bishop enters his 9th season with a 148-80-25 career record and a 2.32 GAA and .913 save percentage. We are talking about a 6' 7', 216 lb mountain of a man that has ultra quick reflexes in goal. He has a chance to win 200+ games in his career. I think by adding two veteran scorers in F Alexander Radulov and F Martin Hanzel to already loaded roster, the Stars are poised to be much improved.
Ken Hitchcock takes over and I have always liked him as a head coach. Don't forget he won the Stanley Cup as the Stars head coach back in 1998-99. In his seven seasons with Dallas, Ken Hitchcock has made the playoffs five times. The Stars are strong at Center and the in Goal. That's a huge plus to go along with a lot of team speed on the wings. I would be shocked if this team doesn't return to postseason play. The oddsmakers certainly think so with a season point total set at 98.5. I would lean under! Remember, the Stars play in the ultra competitive Central division in the Western Conference. The schedule is not easy but the talent is there for an extended playoff run.
Jeff's Prediction: (41-29-12, 8th and final playoff spot out West, 94 points)
Next Week: Jeff's 2017-18 Eastern Conference Spotlight Team
Follow Jeff on twitter @jhsportsline