I am red-hot with my NHL picks right now as last night’s winner gives me another four-pick win streak and pushes me to 8-2 over my last 10 picks.
The Edmonton Oilers went into Vancouver and snuck by the Canucks in a shootout by a 3-2 score. While it was a close game, the Oilers never trailed in the game as they held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in this one, and they were able to prevail in the shootout as slight road underdogs.
It’s nice to rattle off another four-pick win streak for the second time in as many weeks as this has been an extremely profitable period with these picks.
Season Record: 10-6
Let’s move onto tonight’s NHL pick featuring the Blues and Bruins from the TD Garden in Boston.
The St. Louis Blues are playing their best hockey of the season at the moment as they wrap up a four-game road trip tonight in Boston against the Bruins.
The Blues have obtained points in all three road games so far and are 3-0-1 over their last four overall.
While their offense perked up with 11 goals over their three games prior to losing 2-1 in overtime on Tuesday against the Islanders, it’s been their defense that has been the backbone of this recent stretch.
Over their last four games, the Blues have allowed just five goals, or 1.25 goals per game. If we date further back, the Blues have allowed just eight goals over their last six games, or 1.33 per game. They have one shutout in that time and have allowed one goal or less in four of those six games.
Perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise despite their overall struggles this season. The Blues quietly rank second in the NHL with just 2.42 goals against per game on the road this season, where they have played four of their last six games. Over those last four road games, St. Louis has allowed just four goals against and just three goals against in regulation time.
Their defense is going to need to stand tall once again against a Bruins team that can score on home ice. Boston ranks 28th with just 2.29 goals per game on the road this season, but they jump all the way to seventh with 3.48 goals per game on home ice.
They have been tough to beat at the TD Garden as a result, especially when we combine that with their defensive prowess regardless of where they play. Boston checks in at fourth in the league with just 2.43 goals against per game at home this season. For good measure, the Bruins are tied for fifth with 2.79 goals against per game on the road, so we are certainly talking about one of the very best defensive teams in the league.
As a result, the Blues could have a tough time getting their offense going again tonight after managing just one goal against another excellent defensive team in the New York Islanders on Tuesday. St. Louis ranks 26th with just 2.37 goals per game on the road this season, so it stands to reason that they could struggle to produce offense again this evening.
At the time of this writing we don’t have any confirmed goaltenders for this matchup yet, but I can say with plenty of confidence that it will be Tuukka Rask for the Bruins as Jaroslav Halak took the loss last night in Philadelphia.
Both Bruins netminder sport very similar numbers on the season, but for his part he has produced a rock-solid 2.44 GAA and .919 Sv% across 23 starts and 24 appearances this season. At home, the 31-year-old veteran has increased his productivity to a tidy 2.18 GAA and .921 Sv% across 11 starts and 12 appearances.
The sensational start to Blues’ netminder Jordan Binnington’s career continued on Tuesday in New York where he allowed two just goals on 25 shots. It was the fourth straight start where he was allowed one goal or less in regulation time while he owns a dynamite .960 Sv% across four January outings.
If Jake Allen goes tonight, we’ll have a goaltender coming off a 4-1 victory over the lethal Washington Capitals where he turned aside 28 of 29 shots. Allen’s splits are outrageous as he has been shelled for a 3.65 GAA and .878 Sv% at home but has been stout to the tune of a 2.21 GAA and .925 Sv% on the road. Very similar splits to his team.
At the end of the day, we have a Blues team that is second-best in the league in defending on the road and they’ve been the best defensive team in the league of late. They also struggle to score on the road.
The Bruins can score at home, but they’re also one of the league’s best defenses wherever they play.
Therefore, I am going to roll with the under for the second time in three days with this Blues club, this time from the TD Garden in Boston.