The NHL Playoffs will look to get going with an exciting opening night on May 2. Four games are up on the board as the postseason opens up on Monday night. One of these games will be between the St. Louis Blues and the Minnesota Wild. These two teams have been strong this season and will look for a big win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 9:30 PM Eastern time on ESPN.
St. Louis finished out the regular season with a record of 49-22-11, which had them grab the third seed in the Central division. The Blues lost their last two games of the regular season, but finished winning 12 of 15 games. St. Louis will look to keep that momentum going in this matchup. I expect the Blues to come out fast on the road in this one.
The Wild put up a record of 53-22-7 throughout the regular season, which had them finish in second place of the Central division. Minnesota won their last two games of the regular season and 10 of their last 12. The Wild will look to carry that momentum into this playoff series as well. Minnesota will look to grab a pivotal win in Game 1.
These two teams have been strong throughout this season and will look to start this series out strong. The Blues struggled a bit more to end this regular season, but will look to bounce back. Minnesota will look to step up early in this one after struggling against St. Louis during the season. If either team can come out fast in this one, it could be enough for the win.
The following odds are courtesy of Bovada:
|St. Louis Blues||+1 ½ (-195)||+120||Over 6 ½ (+100)|
|Minnesota Wild||-1 ½ (+165)||-140||Under 6 ½ (-120)|
|Team Data||St. Louis Blues||Minnesota Wild|
|Away/ Home Record||23-12-6||31-8-2|
|Goals Per Game||3.77||3.72|
|Goals Per Game Away/ Home||3.77||4.10|
|Save Percentage Away/ Home||.904||.904|
St. Louis Blues
- 11-5 when playing on two days rest
- 17-9 against divisional opponents
- 17-11 after allowing four or more goals
- 8-6 after a loss by two or more goals
- 30-16 after scoring four goals or more
- 23-16 against team with a winning record
- 9-4 when playing on two days rest
- 13-13 against divisional opponents
- 17-8 after a divisional game
- 18-10 after a win by two goals or more
- 24-18 after scoring four or more goals
- 23-16 against team with a winning record
These two teams met up three times during the regular season. Jordan Kyrou had two goals and two assists in the first meeting as the Blues earned a 6-4 win on the road. Justin Faulk and Robert Thomas both had a goal and an assist as St. Louis won 4-3 in overtime in the second matchup. Pavel Buchnevich and Brayden Schenn both had a goal and two assists in the third game as the Blues won 6-5 in overtime.
GAME DAY! This is your 12 hour warning.
— x – Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) May 2, 2022
The Blues have been strong on special teams this season. St. Louis has scored on 63 of their 238 power play chances, which is a 26.5 percent success rate. The Blues have killed off 184 of their opponents 218 power play attempts, which is an 84.4 percent penalty kill. St. Louis is 2nd on the power play and 5th on the kill this season.
Minnesota has had a solid power play throughout the season. The Wild have capitalized on 53 of their 253 power play opportunities, which is a 21 percent power play. Minnesota has given up 63 power play goals on 260 penalties against, which is a 75.8 percent kill rate. The Wild are 18th on the man advantage and 25th on the penalty kill.
St. Louis had the better special teams unit in the regular season and will look to remain hot in this one. The Blues had the better power play and penalty kill on the regular season. The Wild have a clean slate entering the playoffs though and will look to improve. If either team can get a power play goal in this one, it could be enough for the win.
I expect Ville Husso to get the start in Game 1 of this series for St. Louis. Husso has started in 38 games this season, going 25-7-6 in those matchups. He has posted a .919 save percentage and a GAA of 2.56 in those games. Husso finished with 38 saves on 44 shots in his last start of the regular season, which was not enough for the win.
The Wild are undecided on whether to go with Marc-Andre Fleury or Cam Talbot in Game 1. Fleury started in 11 games with Minnesota, going 9-2-0. He has put up a save percentage of .910 and a 2.74 GAA in his starts. Talbot went 32-12-4 in those outings. He has posted a .911 save percentage and a GAA of 2.76 in his games played.
These two teams will have strong starters in Game 1 of this series. Husso has taken over the starting job from Jordan Binnington after a strong regular season and will look to come out fast in the playoffs. Fleury and Talbot were both strong together after the deadline and will look to come out fast in this one. If either goalie can set the tone early, it could be enough for the win.
These two teams have been strong throughout this season and will look for a big win in this one. The Blues were able to sweep Minnesota in the season series, but I think the Wild will bounce back in Game 1. Minnesota’s offense has been strong this season and will look to tighten up on defense. If the Wild can grab an early lead at home, I think they can take the series lead.
Bovada has Minnesota listed as a -140 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Wild will win this game around 58.3 percent of the time. I agree with this line, but there is little value in it. Minnesota is also listed at -1 ½ for +165. I think the Wild will look to set the tone early at home. I think Minnesota can dominate this game to cover the spread.