A critical meeting in Anaheim tonight, as the St. Louis Blues and Ducks play with playoffs on the line. Well, every game from here on out is going to be important for the Blues and Ducks, not just tonight. One game may decide who’s in or not, so every game is going to be equally as important. The Blues are going to need to play catch up, as they’re currently 3 points behind the Avalanche for the final wild card. Management made it pretty clear that they aren’t too confident in where this season is going.
The Blues said goodbye to Paul Stastny, sending him out of town in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets have been a very successful team this season, and adding Stastny to the mix hopes to bring them an added push for the postseason. The Ducks on the other hand are 3rd in the Pacific, but the difference between the playoffs and no playoffs is razor thin. Note that the final wild card team, the Avalanche, have 80 points as well. Sitting just behind them are the L.A. Kings, who have 79 points.
There are seven teams in the Western Conference at the moment who are on the bubble. It could go either way for them. To a lesser degree, the Wild with 85 points, have a bit of a cushion. That is still close to the edge. The only teams we can reference who appear set are the Jets, Golden Knights, and Predators. The fate of the other teams is going to be up in the air. The Blues haven’t been doing anything to suggest they deserve a spot in the playoffs. They’ve won just two games in their last ten outings. Their lasting time on the ice produced a 7-2 win over the Kings, so that was greatly needed. Conversely, the Ducks have lost two in a row following three wins in a row. Head below for our free Blues vs. Ducks pick.
St. Louis Blues vs. Anaheim Ducks Pick
Nobody is expecting much out of the Blues after trading Stastny. It’s not like Stastny is some can’t-miss player at this point in his career. However, he does help, and shipping him out does suggest that they’re not too confident at making a run this season. I don’t oppose the move, because this was about the time where they’d get the most for him. It doesn’t help them this year, though. And this is a Blues team who needs help scoring the puck. They’ve averaged 2.71 goals per game, which isn’t awful, but it puts them in 23rd in the league. In the NHL today, that isn’t good enough. Additionally, their offence has taken a dive since the Stastny deal. In their last ten games, they’ve averaged only 2 goals per game.
The Ducks on the other hand have been one of the better teams on the defensive end of late. It’s helped them jump up to a wild card, at least for the moment. In their last ten, they’ve allowed 2 goals per game. Since February 9th, the Ducks have given up more than 2 goals in regulation on just three occasions. The Blues have had trouble scoring, and I can’t see how it improves any in Anaheim. This is their fourth straight stop on the road, losing a couple against the Stars and Sharks, and then taking their frustrations out on the Kings, 7-2. I think their offence regresses and sees a less productive effort to start the week. The UNDER has gone 3-0 in their last three meetings, and 4-1 in the last five. Another low-scoring contest looks like the logical pick, especially catching plus-money.
PICK: UNDER 5 (+115)