Back to the ice on Monday after just a trio of games on Sunday. It was a day reserved for the NFL and World Series. Quite the Game 5 between the Dodgers and Astros in yet another wild back and forth affair. It didn’t go according to plan, which seemed like it would have been a pitching duel between Kershaw and Keuchel. Both were awful, though, and the offenses traded points all night long. I said picking a winner was a toss-up, and the game turned into like betting on roulette. It’s been an entertaining World Series, and we hope it goes to a seventh game with a wild finish like we’ve already had a few times in the series.
Chris will take over writing duties for the World Series from LA. With baseball just about done, we get early Tuesday and Wednesday night football out of the MAC and Sun Belt, so if you want to find a positive of it ending, there it is? The Sun Belt has actually been an ATM machine for me, so no complaints from my end. Let’s get back to hockey talk, though. We’re in St. Louis tonight for a meeting of two of the top two clubs in the NHL. Standings don’t mean much of anything at this point, it’s not even November yet, but the Kings and Blues are off to hot starts.
The Kings are 1st in the Pacific and the Blues are 1st in the Central. The Golden Knights are unbelievably just 3 points behind the Kings, but you will see them regress out of the picture eventually. The Kings hot start of 9-1-1 may be for real, though. They have looked like the same team who won the Stanley Cup in 2014 and 2012.
That could change quickly, but they haven’t looked this good in a while. Notably, their defence is looking like vintage Kings. They won Stanley Cups with their defence and the hot hand of Jonathan Quick in net. They’ve been finding a bit of that same success thus far. As far as the Blues are concerned, I am getting exhausted saying they’re doing great in the regular season, and then fail to reach the finals. At this point, it’s Stanley Cup or bust in St. Louis. Let’s get straight to our free Kings vs. Blues pick below.
L.A. Kings vs. St. Louis Blues Pick
The Kings have sort of fallen out of the picture the last couple of years. However, they were out of the picture before entering the postseason in 2012 and made good on winning the Stanley Cup at long odds. If they keep playing like this, they’re not going to have that long of odds. Quick has been one of the hottest goalies in the NHL, as he goes into Monday with a GAA of 1.76 and 0.946 save percentage. Quick finished with a 2.26 GAA last season and a 2.22 GAA the year before. It’s nothing new to Quick, but he has had the luxury of having elite defensive units helping him out. He battled injuries a year ago, but has had a clean bill of health thus far.
The Kings are 1st in the NHL with 1.82 goals allowed per game. The Kings finished 6th in goals allowed last season and 3rd in 2015-16. During the 2014-15 they were once again a top defensive unit as they finished 5th with regards to goals surrendered. In other words, they have consistently played at the top of the league on defence.
The Blues trail the Kings in this regard, but are still 3rd in the league, allowing 2.33 goals per game. Jake Allen has been steady in net with a 0.92% save percentage. The Blues have given up an average of only 1.3 goals per game in their last three games. Likewise, it’s been more of the same for the Kings, who have allowed 1 goal per game in their last three.
The UNDER is 4-0 in the Kings’ previous four games and 3-1 to the UNDER for the Blues. Additionally, the UNDER has gone 5-1 in their last six meetings against one another. I’d recommend a pick on the UNDER. For the expectations I put on myself, I have been cold as ice with my recent picks. Let’s turn in a profitable night on Monday and melt that ice.
PICK: UNDER 5.5 (-120)