The St. Louis Blues and the Minnesota Wild match up at the Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday night. They will have two more meetings in Minnesota before the Blues depart St. Louis on Saturday. This is a back-to-back for the Blues and Wild, with another showdown on Thursday night at the Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild are in terrific form going into tonight. They go into Wednesday evening on a seven-game winning streak, and have been solid throughout the season with a record of 31-13-3. The Wild certainly have to be regarded as the most underrated team in the NHL. There aren’t a lot of teams that would be playing solid hockey like this and get no respect.
The Wild don’t need any respect from the media or public to keep playing quality hockey, though. The only thing working against the Wild is that they play in a tough West Division. Minnesota has to deal with the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights. Those are two of the best teams in the entire NHL.
This seven-game winning streak has put the Wild within reaching distance of the Avalanche and Golden Knights. The Wild are only a point away from the Avalanche and four points behind the Knights for the lead in the division. The West is a three-team race between these teams. The St. Louis Blues are trailing in fourth, well behind the Wild by 17 points with 48 points at 21-19-6.
The Blues are team years removed from their magical run to a Stanley Cup. In one of the most unlikeliest scenarios, the Blues went from last to first. The Blues aren’t going from the middle of the pack to a Stanley Cup this season. The void of Alex Pietrangelo on the Blues is evident. If anyone has followed the Blues before, and looking at them now, their defence has taken a big step back.
St. Louis is coming off a 4-1 win over the Avalanche on Monday. That was an impressive win. In fact, the Blues put together a couple of impressive wins, 5-3 and 4-1. It was a good look for the Blues, but there’s a lot of work left for them to do. The Wild most recently defeated the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, 6-3. They should be well rested. Head below for our free Blues vs. Wild pick on April 28, 2021.
St. Louis Blues vs. Minnesota Wild NHL Betting Odds:
Blues vs. Wild Prediction:
The defence hasn’t been quite as strong with Alex Pietrangelo in the mix for the Blues. While his absence isn’t the sole reason why the Blues haven’t been as strong, the fact remains that I don’t think they’re going to be able to go deep in the playoffs with this unit. The Blues are 21st in the NHL with 3.1 goals against per game. There’s certainly worse out there, but the Blues have likely aren’t going to get by with their offence alone.
It might require Jordan Binnington catching fire. Binnington has been fine with a 2.68 GAA and 0.91 save percentage. However, Binnington hasn’t been the hottest as of late. He had that solid performance in a 4-1 win against the Avalanche, but otherwise, Binnington hasn’t been so hot since mid-April. Binnington has conceded at least 3 goals in four of his last five performances. Note that the Blues have allowed 2.7 goals per game in their past ten games, and netted an average of 3.3 goals per game, so there’s been some positives.
Binnington and the Blues will be tasked with slowing down a red-hot Wild offence. The Wild have been scorching hot with an average of 4.3 goals scored per game in their last ten games. They’ve notched at least 4 goals in each of their previous six outings. Note that four of their last five games have cleared the OVER. Overall in 2021, the Wild have recorded 3.2 goals per game for 11th in the NHL. At home, their offensive efficiency improves to 3.52 goals a game at the Xcel Energy Center. I think we see a 4-2 or 5-2 final score to put this game OVER the total.