Hockey Today May 8

Hockey Today May 8

Hockey Today

Dallas at Detroit (7:30 p.m. EDT). The Stars and Red Wings open the Western Conference finals.

Friday, May 9

Philadelphia at Pittsburgh (7:30 p.m. EDT). The Flyers, who had the worst record in the NHL last season, are trying to get back to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 1997.

FLYING HIGH

Philadelphia, coming off its worst season in franchise history last year, are in the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2004. The Flyers' turnaround from the bottom of the league to playing in the East finals against Pittsburgh is one of the more stunning one-year transformations in NHL history. The Flyers are the first team to reach the conference finals a year after posting the worst record since the Red Wings in 1987. They vaulted from 22 wins and 56 points in 2006-07 to 42 wins and 95 points by shuffling the roster.

FIRED

Paul Maurice was fired as coach of the Maple Leafs on Wednesday after Toronto failed to make the playoffs during his two years. The dismissal was the first big move in what is expected to be an active offseason for the team. The Maple Leafs finished 12th in the Eastern Conference with a 36-35-11 record and missed a playoff spot by 11 points. Assistant coach Randy Ladouceur also was dismissed.

WORLDS

Switzerland held high-scoring Sweden in check for a 4-2 win Wednesday to stay undefeated and win its group in the preliminary round of the hockey world championship. The Swiss will face the Czech Republic on Thursday, while Sweden will play Denmark. Finland beat Slovakia 3-2 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to win Group C and set up a game with Latvia on Friday, while later Wednesday night Norway beat Germany 3-2 to set up a game with Canada on Thursday. Germany will play the United States that night.

SPEAKING

``It kind of symbolizes that all the ingredients by themselves aren't appealing, but when you mix them together and apply some fire, you come up with a better product.'' - Philadelphia coach John Stevens of the Flyers turnaround this season.

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Re: Hockey Today May 8

Thursday’s best bet
COVERS.com

Dallas at Detroit -200, 5

The Red Wings seem to have everything going for them as this series for the Western Conference championship gets underway. They are the higher seed, they’re more rested, and they dominated the Stars in the season series, winning three of four games.

Game 1 will be played in Joe Louis Arena where the Wings are almost unbeatable and where the Stars have only won once in the last two years.

Starting to get the idea? Essentially Dallas is heading to Detroit like lambs to the slaughter.

Basically, the only chance the Stars have of winning Game 1, as they come off a hard-fought and emotional quadruple-overtime win against San Jose Monday night, is if Marty Turco shuts down the Detroit snipers. If he continues playing the way he has been throughout the playoffs, it’s perfectly reasonable to believe he will keep the Wings off the scoreboard – he’s got a 1.73 goals-against average and he’s coming off an amazing performance on Monday in which he faced 62 shots and allowed only one goal.

However, the Wings have a goalie who’s been just as good. As impressive as Turco has been, Detroit’s Chris Osgood has a better save percentage, a better goals-against average and more shutouts.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see a low-scoring game as the Red Wings attempt to regain their rhythm after a full week off and Dallas tries to shake off the bumps and bruises acquired in the previous series.

Pick: Red Wings + Under

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DALLAS (53-33-0-8, 114 pts.) at DETROIT (62-23-0-7, 131 pts.)

DALLAS is 55-58 ATS (-32.9 Units) when playing with 3 or more days rest since 1996.
DETROIT is 31-9 ATS (+31.0 Units) after a win by 2 goals or more this season.
DETROIT is 32-10 ATS (+9.0 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
DALLAS is 21-14 ATS (+37.6 Units) in a road game where where the total is 5 or less this season.
DALLAS is 26-13 ATS (+10.1 Units) revenging a loss versus opponent this season.
DALLAS is 26-18 ATS (+45.4 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
DALLAS is 18-10 ATS (+28.8 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
DETROIT is 8-4 (+3.2 Units) against the spread versus DALLAS over the last 3 seasons
DETROIT is 8-4-0 straight up against DALLAS over the last 3 seasons
7 of 11 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Under=+3.0 Units)

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Re: Hockey Today May 8

Western Conference Playoffs
Finals
Game One
Series Tied, 0-0
Dallas at Detroit, 8:05 ET

Dallas:
4-8 SU against Detroit
9-15 SU at Detroit

Detroit:
16-3 SU off a road win by 2+ goals
46-15 SU off a win or tie

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2008 NHL playoffs

Red Wings won seven of last nine against Dallas, four of last five in this building (4-1/5-3 this season). Under is 6-3-1 in last ten series games. Detroit swept Colorado after beating Preds in six games, while Stars won both their series in six games. Red Wings are 5-0 at home in playoffs, allowing total of eight goals.

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Trend Sheet

MAY 8, 7:30 PM  DALLAS vs. DETROIT
Dallas is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
Dallas is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games on the road
Detroit is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games when playing Dallas
Detroit is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Dallas

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NHL set for conference finals

The Penguins will take on the Flyers in the Eastern Conference final, while the Stars will do battle with the Red Wings in the West. Here's a look at each of those playoff series:

Dallas Stars at Detroit Red Wings (Starts Thursday)

The Stars finished off the Sharks in their second-round series on Sunday night - but the win certainly didn't come easily for them. It took four overtime periods for Dallas to secure the win in that contest, with Brenden Morrow eventually potting the game-winning goal. That gave the Stars a 4-2 series victory, and a date with the Red Wings in the conference final. Antti Miettinen also scored for Dallas on Sunday, while Marty Turco stopped 61 of 62 San Jose shots. Mike Ribeiro leads the Stars in postseason scoring with three goals and 11 assists for 14 points, while Morrow has a team-leading seven goals. Turco is 8-4 so far in the playoffs, with a sizzling 1.73 GAA in those games.

The Red Wings had no trouble getting past the Avalanche in their second-round series, as they swept their longtime playoff rival in four games. Detroit capped off the set with a convincing 8-2 win last Thursday night, with postseason scoring hero Johan Franzen potting three more goals in the contest. Henrik Zetterberg had two goals and two assists in that game, while Chris Osgood stopped 29 of 31 Colorado shots. Franzen now leads the team with 11 goals and 14 points in 10 playoff games, while Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk each have 13 points in the postseason. Osgood has stolen the starting netminding gig from Dominik Hasek, and he is 6-0 with a 1.52 GAA during the playoffs.

Vegas oddsmakers opened the Red Wings at 8/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup this spring, and after dispatching the Avs in four games those odds have been boosted to 4/5. The Stars opened at 18/1 odds to win the Cup, and that line has since gone to 3/1.

Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins (Starts Friday)

The Flyers lost Game 1 of their second-round series with the Canadiens, but they then stormed back with four straight victories to take the best-of-seven set 4-1. Philadelphia finished off Montreal with a 6-4 victory in Game 5 on Saturday night, with Scottie Upshall scoring the game-winning goal late in the third period. R.J. Umberger scored twice for Philly in that contest, while Mike Richards, Scott Hartnell, and Mike Knuble added singles. Martin Biron stopped 31 of 35 Montreal shots on the night. Daniel Briere was held pointless on Saturday, but he leads the team with 14 points in 12 playoff contests. Umberger has a team-high nine goals, and Biron is 8-4 with a GAA of 2.72.

The Penguins finished off the Rangers with a 3-2 overtime victory on Sunday afternoon, with Marian Hossa scoring the series-clinching goal. Hossa actually picked up two goals in that contest, with Evgeni Malkin tallying the other Pittsburgh marker. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 20 of 22 New York shots in the win. The Penguins had won seven straight postseason games before losing Game 4 of their second-round set to the Rangers on Thursday night, but Sunday's win gave them a 4-1 series victory. Malkin and Crosby have each picked up 14 points in nine playoff games for the Penguins, with Malkin scoring a team-high six goals. Fleury is now 8-1 with a 1.76 GAA in the playoffs.

The Flyers were huge 85/1 underdogs to win this year's Stanley Cup on the opening line, but knocking out both the Capitals and the Canadiens has moved those odds to 9/2. The Penguins opened with 14/1 championship odds in Vegas, and are now at 9/5.

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Here are today’s ATSDatabase NHL Stats and Trends for Thursday, May 8, 2008

When DETROIT team Played as Home team as a Favorite - Total is 5.0 - After a conference game - Allowed 2 goals AGAINST in their last game.
ATS Record: 12-8-0
SU Record: 15-5-0
O/U/P Record: 8-2-10

When DETROIT team played as a home team - playing on Thursday - After a non division game.
ATS Record: 30-12-0
SU Record: 32-8-2
O/U/P Record: 21-21-0

When DALLAS team Played as Road team as a Underdog - Vs Central opponent - After a division game.
ATS Record: 8-2-0
SU Record: 7-3-0
O/U/P Record: 5-4-1

DETROIT: When ANY NHL Team played as a home team - playing on Thursday - Last 4 years - Coming off a Road win as a Favorite - Coming off a 2 game Road stand.
ATS Record: 6-9-0
SU Record: 9-6-0
O/U/P Record: 12-3-0

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