The St. Louis Blues hope to keep it going with their third win in a row on Monday night. It will have to come in Washington against the Capitals. The Blues were winners by a score of 4-1 and 3-1 over the Canadiens and Stars. It was also their third win in four games. At 19-20-3 there is still time for the Blues to take a run at the playoffs. With the Coyotes, Oilers, Canucks, Ducks, and then the Wild all in line ahead of them, it’s going to take a miraculous run after the All-Star break, though.
Jordan Binnington might have to steal some games for that to happen. He’s been stealing games recently with terrific play in net for the Blues. Jake Allen has seemingly fallen to the side, while Binnington has used his struggles as an opportunity to steal the starting job. Considering how he’s played in his first three starts, it would be difficult for the Blues to go to Allen regularly in net. His most impressive effort was a shutout of the Flyers, as he turned back 25 shots.
The Blues must keep things in perspective, though. It’s only been three starts and I wouldn’t say he was overly tested against the Flyers, Canadiens, or Stars. He has yet to face a barrage of shots and get tested to the extreme in an outing thus far. In his three starts, Binnington has faced an average of 25 shots.
That’s under the league average in 2018-19. He is likely to get a determined Capitals team on Monday evening. They’re coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to the Blue Jackets in a game that the offence took a nap in against Joonas Korpisalo. It ended a three-game winning streak for the Caps. It’s going to be interesting to see how Binnington performs in his toughest environment yet. Head below for our free Blues vs. Capitals pick.
St. Louis Blues vs. Washington Capitals Pick
It’s a long season and the Capitals like every team in the league will have off nights. Heck long no further than the Lightning last night. They’ve been steamrolling the competition but surprisingly fell by a score of 5-1 last night. It’s going to happen to the best of teams. The Capitals didn’t skate against the Blue Jackets, though it isn’t like the Jackets are a bad team. It was just a poor showing for what is usually a dynamite Capitals team at home.
Washington have gone 13-6-2 at home, while averaging 3.45 goals per game and allowing 2.68 per game. Braden Holtby had to exit against the Blue Jackets after getting poked in the eye with a stick. He’s returned to practice since, though, and there wasn’t any long-term damage done. The Blues’ offence has been lifeless on the road this season with only 2.35 goals per game, so Holtby should be able to have a productive night at the office on Monday.
In any case, Phoenix Copley held his own, but the offence didn’t help him out. Binnington has been sharp for the Blues with a 1.45 GAA in five appearances and three starts. That’s a rather small sample size, though. I would like to see what he can do across a few months of action. He isn’t going to be able to maintain a 1.45 GAA, I do know that much, especially given the lack of shots he’s seen in the first three starts of his career.
The Blues beat the Capitals just a couple of weeks ago on the 3rd with a 5-2 win in St. Louis. That isn’t the norm, as it ended a five-game winning streak for the Capitals over the Blues. The Capitals beat the Blues by an average of 3 goals during that stretch. At a generous price of +135, I will take my chances with the Capitals bouncing back and recording a win by more than a goal tonight.