The St. Louis Blues visit the United Center in Chicago, IL, where they will take on the Chicago Blackhawks. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 pm central time. The Blues are 6-6-3 on the season thus far, good enough for 15 points and 7th place in the central division. The Blackhawks are 6-8-4, giving them 16 points and making them the sixth place team in that same central division.
In their last game, the Blues lost to Minnesota on the 11th, 3-2. Oskar Sundvist and Alex Pietrangelo scored for St. Louis, while Zach Parise, Joel Eriksson, and Mikael Granlund scored for the Wild. The Blues managed just 31 shots on goal in that game which, while making 2 goals seem impressive, is not enough even against a tough defense. Chad Johnson, for the Blues, made 15 saves on just 18 shots faced in that game. Regardless of what made the Wild put in such a slow offensive pace, allowing 3 goals on just 18 shots is just unacceptable for a professional goalie at any level of competition, let alone the NHL. Johnson will need to shore up the goaltending if he is playing against the Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks also lost their last matchup, for them against the Carolina Hurricanes. In a matchup of two Corey Crawford backups (Cam Ward is his current backup, Carolina’s Scott Darling is a former backup), Carolina prevailed in overtime. Chicago jumped out to a 2-0 lead after a first period goal by Jonathon Toews and a second period tally by Alex DeBrincat. Teuvo Teravainen and Michael Ferland then tied it up in the second period. Nobody scored then until overtime, when Sebastian Aho lifted Carolina to a victory. Ward made 37 saves on 40 shots faced, a decent performance for a backup.
The Chicago Blackhawks are favored in this matchup at odds of -120.
Blues and Blackhawks Struggles Ongoing
The Blues are 18th in the league in goals, with 52 on the season, and rank 13th in the league in goals allowed, allowing 51. They would certainly love to change that ratio in the upcoming games. Where the Blues play very well is during the power play, which they capitalize on 27.6% of the time (They rank 5th in the league in that category). Jake Allen leads the team in goaltending, allowing 4 goals per game, a stat that won’t win a lot of games. In scoring, Ryan O’Reilly leads with 21 points.
The Blackhawks rank 20th in the league in goals, with 51. On defense, they rank 29th, having allowed 67 goals this season. They are atrocious on the power play, ranking 30th, scoring on just 12.5% of their man advantages. Corey Crawford leads in goaltending, allowing just over 3 goals per game. Patrick Kane has been leading the way for the Blackhawks in scoring, with 22 points on the season.
Blues Top Blackhawks
The Blackhawks aren’t necessarily a bad team, but they have not been able to score enough. Their goaltending has been pretty good thus far, but they simply cannot capitalize on the power play. Chicago could win this game, but it would take a huge effort from Corey Crawford. St. Louis is the safe pick. Bet on the St. Louis Blues at even odds.
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