Florida Panthers (0-0-0) at Dallas Stars (0-0-0)
|Date & Time||Thursday October 3, 2013, 8:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Dallas Stars -161 / Florida Panthers +146 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The new look Dallas Stars host the Florida Panthers as both teams look to get back to the postseason after falling short of that mark a year ago.
The Florida Panthers perhaps more so than any other team suffered the biggest blow in the offseason as they lost franchise forward Stephen Weiss to the Detroit Red Wings and failed to bring anyone of significance back the other way. The Cats did sign former Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas but he hasn’t played a game in well over a year and is getting close to the 40 mark in age leaving the Panthers with a huge liability at perhaps the most important position on the ice. Florida won the Southeast division two years but were ousted in the first round by the Devils and they haven’t been able to rebound since and I think they’re in for a tough year. They begin the season on the road against the Stars and while Dallas still has some work to do they’re a much better team than the Panthers and I think we could see that in a hurry on Thursday night.
Dallas made a splash in the offseason as they acquired former second overall pick Tyler Seguin from the Boston Bruins and former Edmonton Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff as they beefed up their offense in hopes of getting back to the postseason. Dallas picked up Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney last season in hopes of making a push but after things fell through both guys were on the move by the trade deadline and no longer offer that veteran presence. The Stars do have some talent however and with Seguin paired up with new captain Jamie Benn I think the Stars will surprise some people and have the ability to steal a game against some of the tougher clubs. As for their season opener, I see this game being an absolute romp as the Panthers are a complete mess and the Stars should be excited about opening up the season at home. Take Dallas in a cake walk.