Rangers vs. Blues Pick – NHL October 9th

A 4-3 win for the Canadiens handed the Leafs a tough loss, but gave us a win on the OVER 5.5. I lost many games by a goal last season, and I thought after three goals in the first, I was going to get burnt again with it being a 3-2 with less than 5 minutes remaining. Fortunately the Leafs tied the game up, and then managed to give a goal right back, giving Toronto a close loss on opening night. Oh, the joys of being a fan of the Leafs. If that is the way it is going to be, though, may as well win some money in their games. Tonight we head out to St. Louis, featuring two favorites to win the Cup last year, but ultimately, both came up short to hoist Lord Stanley.

New York Rangers @ St. Louis Blues

Never mind just last season, the Rangers had high hopes of winning the Cup for several years now. Plenty of talent, but could never put it all together. It seemed like last season might have been that year it actually happened, but were ousted by the L.A. Kings in the NHL Finals. Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is the catalyst for this Rangers team year after year. In the past five seasons, Lundquist has posted GAA’s of 2.38, 2.28, 1.97, 2.05, and a 2.36 last season. The 32 year old still has it, and should continue to be the guy that puts them in a position to make it back to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Rangers finished 4th in the NHL with regards to goals allowed per game, 2.32. The goal scoring, though, wasn’t nearly as elite, averaging 2.61 goals per game for 18th in the NHL.

You don’t need to look far to find where the Blues are defensively. They happened to edge the Rangers out by a goal, allowing an average of only 2.29 goals per game, which resulted in a 3rd place ranking. The Blues may have gotten a little greedy last season by acquiring Ryan Miller. Miller was by all accounts a disaster, and the St. Louis season seemed to spin out of control after he joined the club. The end of the season was a mess as the losses piled up. It didn’t come as much of a surprise that they were bounced in the first round. Brian Elliot may have been the best goalie the Blues had on their roster last season. He doesn’t have the brand name of a Lundqvist, or even Ryan Miller, but whenever given the chance Elliot has excelled. In 31 appearances, 25 starts, in 2013-14, Elliot produced a 1.96 GAA. The last time he was afforded more than 30 starts in a season his GAA resulted in a 1.56. This should be a tight game throughout against evenly matched teams. The Blues hope to improve their offense with former Avalanche Paul Stastny, and while it should over the course of the season, I feel like we’re going to get a defensive minded game with Lundqvist and Elliot taking center stage.

Pick – UNDER 5.5 GOALS (-130) @ (Best Odds)