The St. Louis Blues couldn’t find the offensive switch in Vancouver last night, as they fell by a score of 3-1 at Rogers Arena. Thatcher Demko played a sharp game between the pipes for the Canucks. He stopped 36 of 37 shots after allowing an early game in the first period. It had Canucks’ fans wishing for Jacob Markstrom in net, but Demko settled down to play like a guy fans want to see more of.
Jake Allen allowed 2 goals on 25 shots, and the Canucks added an empty netter to seal the deal. The Blues will turn back to their starting goaltender, Jordan Binnington, for their Tuesday night matchup against the Calgary Flames. Binnington has been good this season, though he has struggled on the road in 2019-20. His teammates who looked rusty last night, might have to help him out in this one.
They did get shots towards Demko last night, so there was some effort there. However, the Blues could have done a much better job getting in his way and crashing the crease. They appeared to be going through the motions instead of playing as hard as they could have been. That can tend to happen following a long layoff, though. The Flames haven’t played a game since January 18 against the Senators, which resulted in a 5-2 loss.
A back-to-back is usually a disadvantage, but this could work out in the Blues’ favour. They were able to shake the rust off last night and should look better following a lousy performance. If the Flames don’t come ready to play in their first game back from the break, perhaps we see the Blues take advantage on Tuesday night. Binnington will have to make a stop, which hasn’t been too easy for him on the road, though. We’ll see if the Saddledome can change his fortunes.
The Flames enter tonight with a record of 26-19-5 and 57 points. They’re in the crowded Pacific Division, as they hope to get out of a four-team tie with the Oilers, Coyotes, and Golden Knights. With a Canucks’ win last night, they’re three points behind top honours in the division. The Blues can afford to lose a game here and there, as they’re still in a comfortable position in the Central.
St. Louis fell to 30-12-8 on the year, but maintain a 6-point lead over the Avalanche. The Blues don’t have to be perfect, though they can’t afford to allow a long losing streak to develop down the stretch. A loss in Calgary tonight and the Blues will suddenly be on a four-game skid. Conversely, the Flames were winners in six of eight contests leading up to the All-Star break, though that loss against the Senators put a damper on the mood. Head below for our free Blues vs. Flames pick.
St. Louis Blues vs. Calgary Flames Betting Odds:
Blues vs. Flames Prediction:
Jordan Binnington is a dependable option for the Blues at home in the Enterprise Center. He carries a 2.20 GAA and 0.922 save percentage at home, though those numbers skyrocket when playing on the road. Binnington owns a 3.24 GAA and 0.898 save percentage on the road this season. In his last three outings on the road, Binnington got rocked against the Jets and Avalanche twice. He allowed a total of 15 goals for a combined average of 5 goals against and a 0.775 save percentage. The Kings are the only team in his last six attempts that he’s allowed less than 3 goals against on the road. Calgary is scoring just over 3 goals per game at the Saddledome in 2019-20.
Despite the no-show offensively for the Blues on Monday night, they were playing well in the offensive zone leading up to the All-Star break. The Blues have notched 3.5 goals per game in their last ten games, and buried at least 3 goals in eight straight games. With the rust kicked off their wheels following a contest last night, expect the Blues to get their offence going again in Calgary. They enter the Saddledome having scored 3.18 goals per game in 2019-20. Despite the sluggish outing last night, I’m not worried about their outlook in the offensive zone moving forward.
Note that the Blues have had a lot of success in the offensive zone against the Flames in previous matchups. They’ve recorded at least 3 goals in four of their last five meetings, and at least 3 goals in seven of nine games. The most recent win the Flames have had against the Blues was back on December 16 of 2018 in a rout by a score of 7-2.
St. Louis has been the victor in three straight since, though. What I see happening is the Blues putting a bit more effort in than last night. The puck wasn’t falling for them against Demko, but they should be motivated to find their stride in Calgary. Having said that, Binnington on the road has not provided much reason to be ecstatic about the Blues in this one. He’s a long way from St. Louis at the Saddledome this evening. A 4-2 a 4-3 final score looks about right here, so a play on the OVER is advised with a generous total of 5.5.