The 2018-19 Stanley Cup Champions are in Las Vegas for a couple of games on Tuesday and Thursday. There is no celebrating and there will be no fun in Las Vegas on this trip. It’s all business for the St. Louis Blues, who are looking to get back to the Stanley Cup Final and compete for another Cup. The year they won was a whirlwind season for the Blues.
They went from dead last in January to winning the whole thing. It is quite the sports story that would have garnered more attention if it was another one of the major sports in the US. The Blues didn’t have nearly as much success last season, though. They were bounced against the Vancouver Canucks to end their defence of the Cup.
The Blues are coming off a poor effort against the LA Kings on Sunday. They were 6-3 losers as they got behind early and were unable to recover. The Blues went into the second intermission down by a score of 5-1, so the game was pretty well in the bag at that point. It’s pretty clear that the Blues got way too comfortable following the 4-2 win against the Kings
St. Louis goes into Las Vegas with a record of 3-2-1 and seven points. They’ve been solid enough, but the Blues were really solid last season, and it didn’t result in another Stanley Cup. It’s all about peaking at the right moment, and the Blues have the talent to do. That said, they’ve lost talent since winning the Cup, notably Alex Pietrangelo who is with the Vegas Golden Knights now.
Since entering the NHL in 2008, Pietrangelo had been a member of the Blues. They lost him in free agency to the Golden Knights, as one of the biggest offseason signings. The Golden Knights have been looking for something to give them just an extra kick to get over the hump, and Pietrangelo might be the puzzle piece that was missing.
The Golden Knights are up in the West Division with a record of 5-1-0 and ten points. They’re coming off a tight 1-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes, as Marc-Andre Fleury picked up a 16-save shutout. He didn’t have to do much work with the defence giving him a big helping hand. The Knights were trying to move Fleury in the offseason, though his contract was unmovable. He continues to share time with Robin Lehner between the pipes. Head below for our free Blues vs. Golden Knights pick on January 26, 2021.
St. Louis Blues vs. Vegas Golden Knights NHL Betting Odds:
Blues vs. Golden Knights Prediction:
The Arizona Coyotes were able to crack Robin Lehner on Friday, as the Yotes handed the Golden Knights their first loss of the year. Arizona were 5-2 winners, with Lehner getting hit for 4 goals on 25 shots. It was his first true poor game of the season. Lehner conceded 2 goals each against the Ducks and an earlier start against the Coyotes. He owns a 2.68 GAA and 0.899 save percentage. Marc-Andre Fleury has a 1.00 GAA and 0.951 save percentage through three starts.
You could say that Fleury is motivated to show that he’s still a No. 1 option in the crease. The Golden Knights are third in the NHL with just 2 goals against per game. What has made Vegas such a dangerous team since their inception is how they can play like a chameleon. They can easily change things up and adapt to their opponent. If the Golden Knights have to play uptempo, they are capable of doing that.
But with Pietrangelo in the fold now, I’m sure that the Golden Knights are content with playing a defensive brand of hockey and getting physical with the opposition. So far so great for the Golden Knights. The offence has been in good form as well, having scored an average of 3.2 goals per game for 12th in the league. I will say it now, the Golden Knights are going absolutely nowhere in this division and are the likely winners of the West Division in 2021.
If the absence of Pietrangelo on the Blues is any indication, then the Knights are going to continue to play elite hockey defensively. The Blues miss him dearly, as they’ve struggled mightily on defence. They head into Vegas 27th in the league with 3.7 goals against per game through six games. St. Louis will likely see improvement there, but not up to their previous standards. The offence hasn’t been too crisp either, as they’ve netted 2.8 goals per game for 18th in the league. Back home at T-Mobile Arena, expect the Golden Knights to follow through with a winning night.