There are a couple of games worth paying attention to tonight. In St. Louis the Blackhawks and Blues meet, while on the west coast the Capitals and Kings square off in LA. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to pay attention to the Blackhawks and Blues. The Rams were taken away from St. Louis but the Blues are still going strong, and baseball season is right around the corner in a few weeks. St. Louis still has two very good professional sports teams. The Blues though, unlike the St. Louis Cardinals, have been able to parlay their successes into a championship. The Blues are still waiting on that and have been compiling a team the past few seasons, which has put them in a quality position to pull it off. Nobody remembers solid regular seasons, maybe if you’re talking about the Patriots undefeated season, but there again, a lot of people will say that year was a failure to come that far and not win it all. The Blues have been able to put some nice regular seasons on their resume, yet I can’t find a Stanley Cup. They are actually the oldest team in the NHL that have not captured a championship.
They have a chance again this season, but there is a lot in their way. There are so many teams in the league who could potentially win, so the Blues have some company around them. One of those teams is of course the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks are a team who the Blues are trying to model themselves after. Difference being here, is the fact that the Hawks know what it takes to be a championship team in the spring and the Blues are still trying to figure out how to make it happen. I applaud them for going out and finding some offense by acquiring Paul Statsny.
There was a piece missing before he arrived, and now the Colorado Avalanche are looking to replace that piece. Stastny isn’t going to win any goal scoring races or anything, but he provides a jump. The Blues have had to deal with his injuries and others on the team. This goes for the start of this season and in the playoffs in former years. As soon as the team got healthy, goaltender Brian Elliot went down. Although, the Blues have a viable backup, Jake Allen. Allen will get the start tonight against Corey Crawford. Last night the Stars outplayed the Canadiens but were bit in overtime. Now we move on to St. Louis for this pivotal matchup.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues NHL Pick
For as good on the road and bad at home as the San Jose Sharks are, the Blackhawks can echo opposite remarks. It makes a bit more sense, playing in Chicago as a visitor is no easy task. The Blackhawks are beatable on the road, though. The Hawks are 17-13 compared to 24-8-2 at home. In their last meeting against the Blues in St. Louis, the Blackhawks were able to take that one, 4-2. The Blues won three straight against the Blackhawks, before losing two in a row. The St. Louis offense has been sparkling lately, scoring 13 goals in their last three games, for an average of 4.3 goals per game. The Blues have allowed 2.70 goals in their last ten, while scoring 2.80 goals a game.
What has been uncharacteristic is the way the Blackhawks have been playing lately. Not in just their record, 5-5 their last ten games, but there has been some wild affairs. A 7-2 win against the Leafs, a 6-1 loss to the Wild, they’ve been all over the place. The games have been rather high scoring as well, posting a goals for average of 3.20, while allowing 3 goals themselves. Only one game in their last ten games has fallen under 5 goals. In fact, only three of their last fifteen games has gone UNDER 5. I thought the OVER in this spot was going to be juiced to something like -130. However, I was surprised to find a respectable price. Maybe due to the fact that the public is going to associate defense with both of these teams. In any event, I’ll take a piece of the OVER 5 in St. Louis.
PICK: OVER 5 GOALS (-110)