National Hockey League action on Wednesday evening and the Central Division will square off with the Atlantic Division as the St Louis Blues grapple with the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. The Blues enter this game off a 3-2 home loss to the Ducks, while the Canadiens check in off a 7-3 home win over Detroit. The Blues took both meetings between these teams last year.
Slow Start Continues For The Blues
The St Louis Blues are expected to be a real threat in the Central Division, but it just has happened so far as they are 1-4 out the gate. They can’t get on track, and it may not happen in this one as they are about to face a hot Montreal squad. The Blues enter this game off a 3-2 home loss to the Ducks, and they are now 1-3-at home. This game is on the road, and maybe that is a good thing as when a team is struggling then getting out on the road can help take some pressure off them. The Blues should also be confident after taking both meetings last year.
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) October 15, 2018
Scoring in the loss to the Ducks was Alexander Steen, which was his 2nd of the year and Tyler Bozak, which was his 1st. The Blues have been a bit below average on offense as they are 16th in scoring at 3.00 gpg and 5th on the power play at 30.4%. The other end of the ice is where the Blues have struggled as they enter this contest ranked 29th in goals allowed, giving up 4.00 gpg, but they have been decent on the penalty as they have allowed teams to convert just 20% of their chances, which is 12th in the league.
Jake Allen will be in the crease for the blues in this one, and he has gone 1-3 with a 4.13 GAA and a .878 save percentage on the year. In his career, he has gone 55-46 with a 2.65 GAA and a .913 save percentage on the road and 3-3 with a 3.17 GAA and a .891 save percentage against the Canadiens.
Canadiens Completely Crush The Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings may be the worst team in the league, so teams will be looking forward to playing them. The Montreal Canadiens are one of those teams, especially since they want to build up as many easy wins as they can to gain some confidence. Montreal did just that in their last game as they crushed the Red Wings by a score of 7-3. The Habs picked up right where they left off against Detroit as they won all four games against them last year and outscored the team from the Motor City by a count of 24-9 in those games. Montreal has their number, and they are now at 3-2 on the year.
"Obviously I was focused on my team here, but it's always special to play against Detroit. It's fun against my old friends, but obviously a big win."
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) October 16, 2018
The Red Wings are also the first team other than Pittsburgh that they have beaten so far and they hope to keep it going in this one. It will not be easy as the Blues are a desperate team. Jonathan Drouin was the only player with multiple goals against the Red Wings, and they were his first two goals of the year. Antti Niemi grabbled the win after allowing three goals on 28 shot attempts to move to 2-0 with a 2.88 GAA on the year. The Habs are 12th in the league in scoring at 3.40 gpg and 11th in goals allowed at 2.60 gpg.
Carey Price will get the nod in this one, and he has gone 1-2 with a 2.32 GAA and a .909 save percentage on the year. In his career, he has gone 162-138 with a 2.30 GAA and a .922 save percentage in his home games, and 4-7 with a 2.51 GAA and a .914 save percentage against the Blues.
- 8-3 in their last 11 vs. a team with a winning % below .400.
- 5-2 in their last 7 games playing on 1 days rest
St Louis is:
- 1-7 in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- 0-5 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Canadiens have been playing well of late, and I look for it to continue against a St Louis team that has been struggling in the early going. Montreal has won three of their last four games, and they have the edge in the crease with Price over Allen. Price is 4-7 against the Blues, but with a 2.51 GAA against them and he has a solid 2.32 GAA on the year overall. Jake Allen comes in with a 4.13 GAA on the year and a 3.17 GAA in his career against the Canadiens. Take the Canadiens in this one.
Prediction: Montreal -115
Full-Game Total Pick
I can see this one going under the total. Carey Price has a losing record, but with a solid 2.32 GAA on the year. He also has a losing record against the Blues, but with a solid 2.51 GAA in those games. Jake Allen is struggling, but the Habs are not a great offensive team. The Under is 10-1 in St Louis’ last 11 vs. the Atlantic and 7-1 in Montreal’s last eight Wednesday games. That clinches it for me.
Prediction: Under 5.5
Half-Time Side Pick
I like the Canadiens to win the first period of this one. they have the momentum, while the Blues are heading the other way. It should continue that way. Look for the Canadiens to have the lead after one.
Prediction: Montreal -109
Half-Time Total Bet
I am going to go with the Over in the first of this one. The first period for the Blues have put up 2.20 gpg, while the first period for the Canadiens have put up 2.20 gpg I like the Under for the game, but the first period will go Over the total.
Prediction: Under 1.5