The St. Louis Blues look to improve on their 32-19-3 record against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night. It’s been a nice run for the Blues this season, as they’ve remained competitive with the rest of the frontrunners in the league. However, what’s that really worth? Should a solid record in the regular season really mean anything with the Blues anymore? Given how they’ve come up short in the playoffs, despite playing good hockey in the regular season, time and time again, it certainly doesn’t mean too much. Nonetheless, this race is wide open, and the Blues are going to have a decent of chance of finally breaking through in the playoffs. They’re currently in 3rd, four points behind the Predators and Jets. It would be tough to bet against the Preds in a seven-game series against the Blues, though. For the Blues to be successful, it would have to take a little of what they’re doing at the moment, which is stealing games in the blue crease.
Goaltender Carter Hutton saw a small opening and took advantage of it. Hutton started the year as Jake Allen’s backup, and as Hutton continued to play well in relief of Allen, the Blues were left no other choice but to keep him in net. Allen isn’t having a spectacular year, but Hutton has filled in nicely for the Blues. This is the first opportunity for the 32-year-old as the primary starter of an NHL team. He’s been a career minor leaguer and backup in the NHL. Before joining the Blues last year, Hutton spent three years backing up Rinne in Nashville. He didn’t get much playing time, and has only been starting to take on a starting role now. If Hutton keeps it going, Allen is going to find it tough to regain his starting position. Head below for our free Wild vs. Blues pick in the NHL on Tuesday night.
Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues Pick
Hutton holds an impressive 1.61. GAA and 0.947 save percentage. That puts him 1st in the NHL out of goaltenders that have made at least 30 appearances this season. Along with the Golden Knights and Jets playing as surprises in 2017-18, Hutton is a guy who has been a surprise as well. A pleasant surprise for the Blues, who rank 3rd in the NHL with 2.48 goals allowed per game. In their last ten games, they’ve allowed 2.3 goals per game, and in their past five, only 1 goal allowed per. In fact, in four of five, they gave up 1 or no goals. They’ve won six of their last eight games.
The Wild have played the role of Jekyll and Hyde at home and on the road. They have an impressive mark of 18-4-4 at home, but are 10-15-0 away from Minnesota. They have won just three of their last nine on the road, while averaging just 2.2 goals per game. They scored more than 3 goals only once and more than 2 goals twice. Additionally, the Wild haven’t had a nice experience playing in St. Louis. In their last six trips to St. Louis, the Wild have gone 1-5 in their last six. I expect them to run into more problems against the Blues in St. Louis on Tuesday night. I’d look at a play on the Blues in the NHL.
PICK: BLUES (-145)