The NHL is set up with an action packed night of hockey on Tuesday night. Eleven games are up on the board in total for November 5. One of the matchups up will be between the St. Louis Blues and the Vancouver Canucks. Both teams have been off to fast starts this season and will look to keep it going with another win. The puck will be dropped for this game at around 10:00 PM Eastern time.
St. Louis has started out this season with a record of 9-3-3, which has them in first place of the Central Division. The Blues have been off to a fast start as they try and defend their Stanley Cup win last season. St. Louis has won four games in a row, including wins on back to back nights in overtime to start out this month. The Blues will look to continue this road trip with another win.
The Canucks have been a surprise this season as they have jumped out to a 9-3-2 start. Vancouver is currently sitting in second place in the Pacific Division. The Canucks have earned a point in their last seven games and in eleven of their last twelve matchups. Vancouver has been on fire and will look to keep it up as they stop at home for a game before hitting a two game road trip.
The Blues and the Canucks have both looked strong to start out this season. Both teams have nice streaks going and will look to avoid taking a loss in this game. Vancouver has surprised quite a few people with their hot start and will look to prove it is no fluke, while St. Louis continues to defend their Stanley Cup victory from last season.
St. Louis and Vancouver met up three times throughout last season. The Blues hosted the first game, but it was all Vancouver as the Canucks coasted to an easy 6-1 victory. The second game shifted to Vancouver, where the Canucks once again pulled out a dominant 5-1 victory. These two teams met a final time in the last game of the season. David Perron and Ryan O’Reilly scored in the shootout to life St. Louis to a 3-2 win.
The Blues and the Canucks already met once this season in St. Louis. Alex Pietrangelo and Vladimir Tarasenko both scored in the second to give the Blues a 3-1 lead, but Vancouver came marching back. J.T. Miller scored to close the gap and Bo Horvat tied it up late in the third period. Josh Leivo then scored in the sixth round of the shootout to give the Canucks a 4-3 win.
The Canucks have been able to win three of their last four games against St. Louis. The Blues have been the better overall team over the past two seasons, but they have struggled against Vancouver. I believe that St. Louis has a good chance to turn this around with a victory on the road to snap the Canucks’ point streak on Tuesday night.
St. Louis has had solid production from their special teams’ unit so far this season. The Blues have been able to score on 12 of their 49 power play attempts, which is a 24.5 percent success rate. St. Louis penalty kill has been around the league average turning away 36 of the 45 power plays against them for an 80 percent kill rate.
The Canucks have also been excelling in special teams to this point in the season. Vancouver’s power play has scored on 23.3 percent of their power play opportunities so far, which is four percent above the league average. The Canucks penalty kill has been even better only allowing 6 goals on 51 chances, which is an 88.2 percent kill rate.
These two teams have been doing well on special teams so far this season and I believe that this will play a role in Tuesday nights game. The Blues have the slightly better power play on the season, but Vancouver’s penalty kill has done much better. The Canucks give up a decent amount of power play chances, so St. Louis will have their chance to try and beat it, but they will need a nice set up.
Last season’s hero for St. Louis, Jordan Binnington, will likely get the start in net on Tuesday night. Binnington has been off to a strong start posting a record of 7-2-3 in his 12 starts so far. In those starts he has earned a save percentage of .917 and a 2.56 GAA. Binnington’s last start came against the Columbus Blue Jackets, where he stopped 27 of the 30 shots against him to help the Blues get an overtime win.
Jacob Markstrom is expected to get the start in the crease for the Canucks in this game. Markstrom has gone 5-2-2 through 9 starts to open up the season. He has posted a .917 save percentage and a GAA of 2.51. Markstrom’s last start was in an overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks, where he allowed two goals on 29 shots in the effort.
These two goalies have put up nearly identical stat lines so far this season. Binnington has the better record mostly because he has had more starts. I expect both goalies to continue to play solid in net as they try and earn another victory for their team. I give a slight edge to Binnington, who has been a bit better over his last few starts, while Markstrom has put up a sub .900 save percentage twice in his last three starts.
The Blues have struggled in their last few games against Vancouver, but I expect them to end that streak on Tuesday night. St. Louis can match the Canucks special teams in this game and if they can score one with the man advantage it could help give them the necessary edge. Binnington has also been doing well in his last few starts, and the Blues will look for him to continue that.
BetOnline has Vancouver listed as a -123 against the money line in this game. This implies that the Canucks will win this game around 55.2 percent of the time. While this game is in Vancouver, I do not believe that this line is right. The Blues have won four games in a row and have had two days off since their last matchup. I believe that St. Louis will keep it rolling in this game. As an underdog in this game, I believe there is also a lot of value on the Blues, making them my pick of the night.