The St. Louis Blues pack their bags and head for Columbus tonight after a win over the Winnipeg Jets, 3-2, last night at home. With a couple of good goalies in their rotation, they can rotate and still get solid production. This isn’t Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer. Jake Allen notched the win last night, extending their last ten games to 7-3 and 12-5-1 on the season. Yeah, that seems about right for the St. Louis Blues. Although, it isn’t easy be any means to ascertain what the ultimate final chapter will be for the Blues this season. If somebody can tell me what they’ll look like in the playoffs that would be great. The easy call would be that they lose in the 2nd round or something of the sort. The NHL is littered with teams that have promising regular seasons, are talked about as favorites to win the Cup, then fizzle out. To name a couple, the Anaheim Ducks and Washington Capitals. We can include the Blues as well. Can anybody feel confident laying future bets in either of those teams? Not me that’s for sure.
The Blue Jackets have shown some kind of life after starting the year out in pathetic fashion. Never mind beating an NHL team, I didn’t look they could be a college team back then. Head coach Todd Richards was fired, and in stepped veteran John Tortorella. The Jackets needed some direction and Tortorella has provided that. Tortorella was thrown a life preserver for his head coaching career. The Blue Jackets threw him the preserver while their boat was sinking as well. Since taking over for the Blue Jackets, the boat is afloat. It at least looks respectable, we’ll put it that way. The Blue Jackets have in fact won two straight games with wins over the Arizona Coyotes and Pittsburgh Penguins to bring them to 6-12 in 2015. It doesn’t look like much of anything, but there is life in Columbus, something that wasn’t there before Tortorella arrived. A win over the Blues tonight would be huge for their psyche moving forward. We will see how far the Jackets have come under Tortorella tonight.
St. Louis Blues vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Pick
The Blue Jackets have been working in deuces lately. Since Tortorella has taken over behind the bench, to take the reigns of a team that had fallen to 0-8, the Blue Jackets have won two and then lost two in perfect order. They lost two games in a row to the Canucks and Ducks, then just recently beat the Pens and Yotes. The Blue Jackets will be looking for a third straight win tonight, which would be their longest winning streak of the season. The Blues are coming off a win just last night against the Jets. Note that this the second time the Blues have played back-to-backs. In impressive fashion the first time, the Blues flew all the way from LA to Chicago to beat the Blackhawks that night in overtime. Not much time for rest there, and they even did it in extra time.
The Blues will lean on Brian Elliot tonight, his first start in three games. His last appearance didn’t go so well, allowing 6 goals against the Rangers. He will look to bounce back tonight after a few nights off. The Jackets are 2nd last in the NHL in goals against, only ahead of the Calgary Flames. They have improved, but are still falling victim to shoddy play on the defensive end. The Blues on the other hand are 10th in the league with 2.39 goals allowed per game. St. Louis also has a 8 spot edge on the Blue Jackets in the goal scoring department, 12th for the Blues and 20th for the Jackets. I do say though, the Blue Jackets have improved, but I’m finding it hard to ignore the Blues in this game considering the price.
PICK: BLUES TO WIN -115