My free NHL picks are officially in scorching-hot territory after another 2-0 night last night that makes us 4-0 over our last four and 6-1 over our last seven with 6.82 units in profit in that time!
In other words, if you bet $100 on my picks since last Monday, you’re up a cool $682 to this point.
Last night’s picks featured a couple of moneyline favorites in the Golden Knights (-110 in Calgary) and the Blues (-135 in Chicago).
The Golden Knights were the slightest of favorites in Calgary, but took control of that game right away by building a 2-0 first period lead, a lead they stretch to 3-0 in the second.
The Flames fought back to actually tie the game at three in the third, but Shea Theodore’s late go-ahead goal stood as the winner in an eventual 5-3 Golden Knights victory.
The Blues game was a low-scoring affair, but only one team did the scoring in this one. The Blues had a 1-0 lead into the third period where Alex Pietrangelo tallied an insurance marker while Jake Allen stopped all 29 shots that came his way in a 2-0 Blues win.
The 2-0 night netted us 2.00 units in profit and we’ve now notched 4.85 units in profit over the last two nights alone.
Let’s now turn our attention to this five-game Monday night schedule!
Season Record: 110-93-1
Now let’s dive into this free NHL pick featuring the Panthers vs. Blues from the Enterprise Center in St. Louis!
Panthers vs. Blues Betting Odds
- Panthers (+140)
- Blues (-155)
- Panthers +1.5 (-177)
- Blues -1.5 (+157)
- Over 6 (-103)
- Under 6 (-107)
Panthers vs. Blues NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s check in with each of these clubs before I get into my final pick!
The Panthers gained a couple points on the Maple Leafs in the race for the final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division with a 4-1 win over the Canadiens their last time out.
With their game in hand being played tonight, another two points would be monumental and put them just a single point back with plenty of hockey to play.
The Panthers have turned a corner of late, at least at one end of the ice.
They haven’t defended well or received much goaltending at all this season, but they’ve now allowed just three goals over their last two games and 2.80 goals per game over their last five.
It’s not an elite numbers, but it sure beats their work throughout the season on the whole.
Looking at their road numbers, the Panthers still rank 20th with 3.27 goals against per game on the road and tied for 19th with a 78.4% mark on the penalty kill on the road as well.
Thanks to their work on the road up until recently, those season-long numbers just aren’t going to look very good.
That said, their work at the offensive end does look good.
The Panthers rank sixth with 3.21 goals per game on the road this season and 11th with a 21.2% clip on the power play away from home.
That power play has struggled to get going of late, however, going 0 for 14 over their last five games, but the Panthers have averaged just 2.00 goals per game during that time, but did break out against the Canadiens.
In terms of possession metrics, the Panthers are about middle of the pack in terms of their road rankings.
At 5v5 on the road, the Panthers rank 15th with a 49.08% Corsi For%, 18th with a 47.31% Scoring Chances For% and fall all the way to 25th with a 44.06% High-Danger Chances For%.
Of course, getting a 28th-ranked .906 Sv% from your goaltending at 5v5 on the road doesn’t help, but that has changed over the last couple of games thanks to a man named Chris Driedger.
I highlighted Driedger in my piece on Saturday before he allowed just one goal in the 4-1 win over the Canadiens.
For the season, which admittedly is just 11 appearances, he owns a stout 2.16 GAA and .936 SV% to go along with a 6-2-1 record.
He’s made just two road starts, but all he’s done in that time is post a 2-0-0 record and 1.18 GAA and .966 Sv%.
He also dominated the American Hockey League before getting a promotion to the NHL as he posted a 2.29 GAA and .932 Sv% in his 15 games at that level.
He missed more than six weeks with an injury, but has come back to allow just three goals in two games to go along with a .952 Sv% in that time.
Needless to say, the Panthers’ goaltending situation gets a whole lot better with Driedger in net, something I’d never thought we’d be saying after they signed Sergei Bobrovsky last summer.
Of course, tonight marks the second game in as many nights for the Blues after their 2-0 shutout of the rival Blackhawks in Chicago last night.
It was a quick bounce back for a team that saw their eight-game win streak snapped in New Jersey on Friday, and an important win last night due to the fact the Colorado Avalanche continue to sit just two points back with a game in hand not only for the lead in the Central Division but also the Western Conference’s top seed, which means home-ice advantage throughout the first three rounds of the postseason.
With both the Blues and Avs back in action tonight, these potential two points are monumental as the team has plenty to play for at this point in the season.
The good news for the Blues is they will return home to the Enterprise Center where they’ve been excellent to the tune of a 23-6-5 record on the season, good for the most home wins in the west.
Given their work at both ends of the ice, it’s not difficult to see how they’ve managed so much success on their home turf.
Offensively they aren’t elite, but they get the job done as they sit 13th with 3.29 goals per game on the season at home where their 23.8% clip on the power play checks in at eighth.
Defensively they are indeed elite as their 2.38 goals against per game at home is the fourth-best mark in the NHL while their home penalty kill slips to 17th with an 80.4% mark on the season.
The Blues’ penalty kill bounced back from a rough stretch to go 4 for 4 last night, although their hot power play was stalled in going 0 for 2 last night.
One area where the Blues excel at home compared to the road is in the possession game. While they sport some of the worst road possession numbers in the league, their figures at home are dominant.
At 5v5 at home, the Blues rank fourth with a 55.35% Corsi For%, fifth with a 56.02% Scoring Chances For% and eighth with a 54.46% High-Danger Chances For%.
Also helping their cause has been the seventh-ranked .927 SV% they’ve received from their goaltending at home, and it will be Jordan Binnington getting the call tonight after Jake Allen’s shutout of the ‘Hawks last night.
Binnington’s sophomore season has been a bumpy ride, but most of that volatility has come on the road.
He owns a 2.57 GAA and .911 Sv% on the season with three shutouts, but also a stout 2.21 GAA and .918 Sv% at home where all three shutouts have taken place. He’s 20-4-5 at home as a result.
He allowed four goals in the aforementioned loss to the Devils his last time out, but Binnington has also been uncharacteristically poor at home over his last two starts there with an .851 Sv% in that time.
That work followed two straight shutouts at home, so I suppose to volatility has trickled into his work at home as well despite his strong overall numbers on home ice this season.
Both teams have a lot to play for tonight, but one more than the other.
The Panthers are in desperate need of two points which puts them on the cup of a playoff spot in the east, and you have to think that solid 4-1 win over the Habs on Saturday was a big confidence booster, especially since they had dropped six of their previous seven games.
While the Blues are wanting to stay atop the Central Division and Western Conference, we have to keep in mind that this remains a tough back-to-back after an intense rivalry matchup in Chicago just 24 hours ago.
I’m also a little concerned with a Blues offense that has scored just two goals in each of their last two games against weak defensive opponents in the Devils and Blackhawks.
Meanwhile, the Panthers’ mostly high-octane offense broke out with four goals their last time out after a cold stretch of their own.
The Panthers also have the hotter goaltender in this one, something we haven’t been able to say about them for much of the season.
Given the back-to-back set for the Blues combined with their recent lack of offense, I am leaning towards a desperate Panthers team coming off a big win with a hot goaltender in goal.
Give me the road side on the moneyline tonight.