The St. Louis Blues are back in Las Vegas for the first time since blowing a 3-0 lead in early January. It looked like the Blues were going to cruise for an easy win, but lazy play allowed the Vegas Golden Knights to storm all the way back. They just stopped playing after getting a comfortable lead. The Golden Knights went ahead to take a 4-3 lead in regulation, before the Blues responded to at least force overtime and acquire a point. I suppose that’s the silver lining for the Blues, but they should have never allowed a point to get away from them with a 3-0 lead. Fortunately for the Blues, that hasn’t been the norm for them this season. When they get a lead like that, it’s typically lights out for the opponent.
In the Blues’ last outing, the game was called in Anaheim after Jay Bouwmeester collapsed on the bench in the 1st period. The 36-year-old defenceman was attended to immediately and appears to be in good spirits at the moment. It fortunately does not seem to be something fatal, but Bouwmeester will be out for the foreseeable future. At 36 years old, it could be a career for Bouwmeester, but his health is of the utmost importance, so that’s not important right now. This isn’t the first time that a player has suffered a cardiac episode on the bench. Jiri Fischer in 2005 with the Red Wings comes to mind.
With the incident against the Ducks, the Blues haven’t played a full game since February 8 against the Dallas Stars. The Blues battled hard, but exited Texas with a 3-2 loss in overtime. They were also losers by a score of 4-2 against the Jets on February 6, so they’re going into Thursday on a small two-game losing streak. Note, though, that the Blues have won just three of their previous nine outings. They were sitting nicely atop the Central Division, but have since allowed the Colorado Avalanche to pull right up to them. The Blues head into Las Vegas with 73 points, while the Avalanche are at 72 points and the Stars at 69 points.
The comfortable lead that the Blues once had has since diminished fast. They managed to go on a four-game winning streak following the collapse in Vegas back in early January, but have been sinking since that point. The Blues are hoping that they’re just getting the losing out of their system now, as they gear up for the final stretch of the regular season and then the playoffs. Their meeting against the Golden Knights tonight is only the second time in eight games that they’ve been underdogs. This is approximately the same price as their meeting in January. Head below for our free Blues vs. Golden Knights pick.
St. Louis Blues vs. Vegas Golden Knights Betting Odds:
Blues vs. Golden Knights Prediction:
The Vegas Golden Knights have to get winning soon in the midst of a tight race in the Western Conference. It felt like the win against the Blues in early January was going to provide a spark for them, but it didn’t do much of anything. All it did was make them look a bit lucky in that outing. Vegas lost their next four games and six out of their next seven outings, so it certainly wasn’t the spark that the Golden Knights were looking for. They are in serious danger of missing out on the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. The Golden Knights hold a record of 28-22-8 with 64 points going into tonight. That puts them in a three-way tie with the Coyotes and Flames, and 5 points behind the Canucks for 1st in the Pacific Division.
Vegas put on a horrid display against the Wild in their most recent showing. They didn’t show up in any facet of the game, as the Golden Knights were blanked by a score of 4-0. There wasn’t any offence obviously, but what concerns me the most in the last two months of the season for the Knights is Marc-Andre Fleury. They are going to need him to come up big, though Fleury has been rather inconsistent. He owns a 2.87 GAA and 0.904 save percentage, down from his career GAA of 2.57 and 0.913 save percentage. The last two seasons he posted a 2.51 GAA and 2.24 GAA, so that’s a significant dive.
The Golden Knights have allowed at least 4 goals in three of their last four games. In their previous ten outings, they’ve yielded 3.1 goals per game, which I would say must improve if the Knights are going to have success. T-Mobile Arena hasn’t helped either. The Vegas Flu was working to their advantage the past two years, but it hasn’t been as effective in 2019-20. Vegas has allowed 3.25 goals per game, while scoring 3.32 so they’ve been very vanilla at the arena known as the Fortress to Knights’ fans.
Vegas has gone 14-10-4 at home this season. That’s on par with how the Blues have done on the road, with a record of 14-10-4 as well. The Golden Knights haven’t won a game at home since, well, that win on January 4 against the Blues. They have gone winless in four games after defeating St. Louis, and they barely won that game, needing to erase a 3-0 deficit and then win in overtime. While some would argue the Blues are not going to care about tonight because of what happened to Bouwmeester, it could also have the opposite impact. Their legs should at least be fresh, having not played a full game since February 8. I will take my chances on the Blues at this price against what has been a mediocre Vegas squad in 2019-20.