The Ken Hitchcock tour in St. Louis didn’t exactly go according to plan this season. In what was viewed as one last shot at winning his second Stanley Cup, quickly turned to dismay. Hitchcock was fired from his post as the head coach and will head into retirement? He stated that he was going to coach one final year, but it ended abruptly.
We’ve seen coaches and players say it’s going to be it for them, so it isn’t completely certain that Hitchcock is done. I’ve seen his name floating around for the Las Vegas job, but can’t say there how much truth is in that.
There is truth in the notion that the Blues are struggling. You don’t need any special abilities to see that. They were playing badly when Hitchcock was fired, and they continue on a path leading them out of the playoffs and off a cliff. The Western Conference is not as difficult to traverse as the Eastern, so they do have that going for them here.
The Blues are currently holding on to the final wildcard with a record of 31-26-4. They’re only 1 point up on the Kings, who are currently down on the Maple Leafs, 2-1, in the 3rd period. A win would bump the Blues down a notch. If the playoffs were to start today, I’d say that the Blues do not deserve to be a participant. It’s a far cry from the beginning of the season, where the goal was to get Hitchcock a Stanley Cup in his final year behind the bench. The Blues came close to doing it a year ago, but were ousted by the San Jose Sharks in the conference finals.
For us, it’s not the most ideal start to March, with a losing pick the last two nights. Nevertheless, we are still up comfortably and looking for more. Head below to get The Sports Geek’s Blues vs. Jets pick being played in Winnipeg this evening.
St. Louis Blues vs. Winnipeg Jets Pick
Part of the problem, okay, a big part of the problem with the Blues this season has been their inefficiencies on defence. Notably, the goaltending has been bad at best with Jake Allen between the pipes. Brian Elliott took a big fat contract in Calgary, leaving Allen as the starter with no reinforcement behind him.
Allen and Elliott made a nice duo, but his self, he’s amassed a 2.66 GAA and 0.905 save percentage. Note that the Blues are 22nd in the NHL with 2.87 goals allowed per game. They were in the top 5 just a year ago.
The Blues are 15th overall in goals scored, which is okay, but not going to get it done when they’re 22nd on defence. It’s impressive enough that they have a playoff seed at the moment considering those stats. The Jets have already beat the Blues twice this season, both 5-3 wins in January. The Blues are also on a four-game losing streak heading into tonight.
However, the Jets have two losses of their own. Prior to the four-game losing streak, the Blues won six straight, so they’re in danger of giving it all back quickly. The Jets have allowed 3.80 goals per game in their last ten and scored 3 per game. There shouldn’t be any shortage of goals tonight, so I like the OVER for our Friday NHL pick.
PICK: OVER 5.5 GOALS (-110)