It’s what I like to call Boxing Day in the world of sports, as the day after the Super Bowl is today on this Monday. And what a game it was, with the Patriots coming down from a score of 28-3 to capture the Super Bowl. It made for Tom Brady’s 5th Super Bowl ring, and he may not be done just yet. We head back to the ice on Monday night to attack the slate with our NHL picks, as we patiently await the start of football season next fall. And just like that, football season will be done before you know it again.
Congrats to the New England Patriots and their fans, though. I’m ready to get back to business and produce some more winners down the stretch in the NHL and into the playoffs. The NHL picks have been profitable at The Sports Geek and I hope to keep it going. Our quest after the Super Bowl begins tonight in Philadelphia. The Flyers will welcome the St. Louis Blues to Philadelphia on Monday night. With both teams on the fringe of the playoffs, every game is going to be important in the remaining months for the Flyers and Blues. The Blues must find an identity and quick.
Ken Hitchcock came back to coach one final season with the hopes of earning his first Stanley Cup, but things are looking dire at the moment. He led the Blues all of the way to the conference championship last season and ultimately were upended by the San Jose Sharks, who went on to lose to the Penguins in the finals. Almost for a second there, the Blues looked like they were going to be the ones to end years of playoff frustration, but it was the Sharks who came just short in the Stanley Cup Finals.
At 25-22-4, the Blues must get their act together if they want to make the playoffs, or else, Hitchcock’s retirement party isn’t going to be as great as it could be. As I mentioned earlier, the Blues have an identity problem. Their once potent defence has been getting ravished and their offence haven’t been able to pick up the much-needed slack. Brian Elliott is dearly missed in St. Louis, as Jake Allen has struggled to take command as the primary starter with the Blues. The Blues will look for some good vibes in Philadelphia, as both these teams strive to make a run at the playoffs in 2017.
St. Louis Blues vs. Philadelphia Flyers Pick
The Blues are getting torched defensively, allowing an average of 3.10 goals per game. Note that the Blues were one of the top defensive teams in the NHL last year, but they’ve done a total 180 and are now 26th in the NHL. Jake Allen owns a paltry 0.897% save percentage and 2.82 GAA. Simply put, Allen has to get better if the Blues want to have a chance. There is no going to Elliott so he can think about things and recharge. They’ve surrendered 3.40 goals a game in their last ten contests. The offence has been holding them up, though, with 2.81 goals scored per game for 10th in the NHL.
Philadelphia are suffering from a lot of the same problems on defence. They’re allowing 2.98 goals per game for 25th in the league, just a spot ahead of the Blues. The Flyers have given up an average of 2.90 goals a game in their last ten matchups. In their last meeting in December, the Blues won for a final score of 6-3. Their last two meetings produced 16 goals, an average of 8 goals. I expect a similar scenario playing out tonight in Philadelphia. The OVER looks like an attractive option, as we tend to our Super Bowl hangover, and look for a winner with our NHL picks.
PICK: OVER 5.5 GOALS (-110)