The Toronto Maple Leafs head to St. Louis tonight where they look to turn things around after getting themselves into deeper trouble recently. Prior to the firing of head coach Randy Carlyle it looked like the boat was hitting some choppy waters. After he got fired the boat is now flooded with water and is sinking quickly. Is there going to be anything that can save their season? The Leafs usually collapse later in the season, but it appears to be happening much sooner this year. I find it hard to believe they are going to make the playoffs. It is a sad statement to make. If you recall they were near the top of the Eastern Conference just a few weeks ago. However, a theme that is becoming too familiar with this team is that what goes up must come down, way down. Unlike other seasons where they fell apart late though, there is still time to make amends and make a season out of it. I don’t know if anyone feels confident they can do that. I sure don’t that is for sure. They have no captain to save the ship and it seems to be sinking deeper every game they play. The Leafs are 2-8 their last ten games, and after winning six straight games they are now 3-11. The Blues look to add to their misfortunes tonight in St. Louis in a rare road game for the Leafs on Saturday night. The Blues are sitting comfortably with a record of 27-13-4 in the Central division. They are 16-4-1-1 at home and are more than capable of making life on the Leafs even tougher tonight.
Just a shoddy effort from the Penguins last night. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead, and getting a 2 goal lead with a quality team like the Pens is more than not money in the bank. They went on to blow that lead, and then blew a 3-2 lead to end up getting blown out 6-3. It is hard to get blown out after being up 2-0. The teams that win Stanley Cups don’t allow that to happen. This isn’t going to be the last we here of the Penguins and Islanders. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see these two teams meet up to play in the playoffs later in the year. I’m not sure if the Isles are demanding the respect they deserve yet, but after beating the Penguins three straight times, you just have to give them their dues. We now move onto our matchup tonight between the Leafs and Blues for our Saturday night pick in the NHL.
Toronto Maple Leafs @ St. Louis Blues
The Blues offense has been on fire of late, netting 4 or more goals in five of their last six games. They only scored 2 goals against the Wings in their last game, but in five games straight they scored 7, 6, 7, 5, and 4 goals for an average of 5.8 goals per game. The offense has consistently improved all season long, and in that stretch they went all out. The Blues in fact rank amongst the best offenses in the NHL overall. This is something that the Blues did not have last season. The offense was actually quite inept with the defense carrying the load. Not this season, where the Blues are averaging 3.15 goals a game for 2nd in the NHL, trailing only the Tampa Bay Lightning in that regard. The defense has taken a step back from last season slightly, but with the output they are receiving from the offense they aren’t worried about it.
The Blues will look to exploit the much exploitable Leafs’ defense tonight. They are 25th in the league allowing 3.07 goals a game. In their last ten games they’ve given up 3.7 goals a game, so it isn’t getting any better for the Leafs’ defense as we move further into the season. The offense has been struggling for the Leafs lately, but despite that they are due to have a big night as they usually do on Saturday nights offensively. Toronto enters with the 7th best offense in the NHL with regards to scoring. The Blues and Leafs have most recently gotten into high scoring games, with their last two games resulting in 5-3 and 6-3 finals both for the Blues. The St. Louis offense is even better this time around and should be able to score on them. I am liking the OVER 5.5 to hit here tonight.
Pick – OVER 5.5 GOALS (-103) @ 5dimes.eu (Best Odds)