This game is a story about one team on the upswing and the other perhaps on the downswing. For what it is worth, though, the Blues have been on the upswing since the season started, and the Panthers are in a position where we didn’t think they would be. I do think, however, that the Panthers are going to slowly go backwards and struggle in the final months of the season. They will come back to earth I suppose you could say. With a record of 24-19-4-7 the Panthers have already exceeded expectations. Maybe I am wrong on the Panthers, we will see. I am more confident in saying that the Blues are going to continue to roll the rest of the season. There aren’t any indications that they won’t from what I have seen out of them. The Blues are 36-15-2-2 and will look to add to that tonight against the Panthers in Florida. I think what it comes down to for the Blues in the playoffs is the goaltending. If Brian Elliot excels then I can safely say that they have a good chance at making it very far this season. We have seen a lot out of the Blues lately, hype and success in the regular season and collapse when the real season begins. By adding Paul Stastny in the offseason, though, he adds an element to the Blues that they were lacking last season. I do like this roster.
Another one goal loss on my pick yesterday. The Canadiens defeated the Leafs but were only able to win by a goal, in a shootout. It is tough to really get a feel on Toronto, so I believe we are probably better off ignoring their games altogether. Again they couldn’t get the offense on track, but the Canadiens didn’t look too good themselves. After a huge 15-2 run with my NHL picks, I haven’t had good results in my last few. Time to start up another streak and pick up a winner in Florida night. A place I would much rather be than suffering through -30 degree wind chills.
St. Louis Blues @ Florida Panthers
If the Panthers end up crashing the rest of the way, hey, at least they have nice weather unlike the Boston Bruins. But in all seriousness, the Panthers haven’t been a bad team and look pretty smart by acquiring Roberto Luongo this past offseason. Will he take them to the Stanley Cup Finals like he did with the Canucks? No but he’s at least made them a team that has played competitive hockey this season, a major jump from last season. They have been slipping of late, going 4-6 their last ten games. I can’t say they have been horrible, but have been fluctuating and showing no signs of improvement. Their goal scoring has been a major issue, as they are scoring only 2.39 goals per game, 25th in the NHL. They have also been worse off lately on defense, falling to 17th in the NHL after a good start.
The Blues have it all in their arsenal. A good defense combined with a powerful offense. Their offense wasn’t quite as potent as this last season. They’ve added some important pieces, like Stastny, that have added to their firepower. There is this perception that the offense isn’t as good as they are, but the Blues are 2nd in the NHL in scoring so that is definitely a false belief. Take the 2nd best offense and the 6th best defense and what you have is a team that can make it far. As far as tonight is concerned, I like the Blues to down the Panthers and cash a ticket for us. I don’t usually bet prices this high, but I feel good about this bet on the Blues.
Pick – BLUES TO WIN -148 5dimes.eu (Best Odds)