National Hockey League action on Thursday night and the Pacific Division will square off with the Central Division as the Vancouver Canucks battle it out with the St Louis Blues at Scottrade Center in St Louis, Missouri. The Canucks won two of the three games between these teams last year.
Vancouver enters this game off a 5-1 home win over the Red Wings to move to 3-2 on the year while the Blues are now at 3-3 on the season after taking a 3-2 OT loss to the Islanders on the road.
Canucks Have Rattled Off Three Wins In A RowThe Vancouver Canucks are an improved team this year and I do expect them to make a serious run at a playoff spot. They come in having won their last three games in a row, but we must note that all three wins came at home and they have gone 0-2 on the road so far. The Canucks have scored two total goals in those road games, compared to notching 15 goals in their three home games. They will look to grab their offense going on the road and notch their first road win of the year in this one. Can they? It will not be easy as Binnington was 14-2 at home last year. In their last game, they beat the Red Wings at home by a score of 5-1. The Canucks trailed the game 1-0 just 30 seconds in but the rest of the game was all Vancouver. J.T. Miller was their big pickup in the offseason and he scored twice in the game to give him three goals on the year so far. Elias Pettersson (2nd), Troy Stecher (1st) and Alexander Edler (3rd) also scored in the win.
Snatching up the win against Detroit was Thatcher Demko, who was getting the start because Jacob Markstrom is out due to personal reasons. Demko stopped 26 of the 27 shots in his first action of the year. in his career, he is now 6-4 with a 2.75 GAA in 11 games overall, including 1-3 with a 2.95 GAA on the road and 0-1 with a 1.85 GAA against the Blues. The Canucks enter this game at 12th in the league in scoring, putting up 3.40 gpg while at the defensive end of the ice, they are 5th in goals allowed, giving up 2.20 gpg.
The Blues Are Looking To Break Two-Game SlideThe St Louis Blues won their first Stanley Cup title last year and they may still be feeling the hangover effects from winning it all. The Blues started the season at 3-1, but they have lost their last two games in a row to sit at just .500 on the young season so far. Their last two games were on the road, but they back home for this one, where they were so dominant over the 2nd half of the season a year ago. The Blues are just 1-1 here at home for the year and they lost two of the three meetings with the Canucks a year ago, so this game may not be a cakewalk. The Blues are off a 3-2 OT loss to the Islanders on the road after they had grabbed a 2-0 lead in the game at the 5:23 mark of the 3rd period. The Isles then scored twice in the final 5:31 of the game to tie it, before eventually winning the game in OT. Scoring in the loss was Brayden Schenn, which was his 5th of the year and Vladimir Tarasenko, which was his 1st of the year.
Absorbing the loss to the Islanders was Jordan Binnington, who allowed three goals on 32 shot attempts to fall to 2-3 with a 2.97 GAA on the year. Remember, he was 24-6 with a 1.89 GAA last year, so Binnington is off to a slow start. In his career, he has gone 15-3 with a 2.10 GAA here at home and 2-3 with a 2.97 GAA during the month of October. Binnington is 1-0 with a 1.85 GAA in one start against the Canucks in his career.The Blues check in at 16th in the league in scoring as they are putting up 3.17 gpg while at the other end of the ice, they rank 19th in goals allowed, giving up 3.33 gpg so far.
- 22-51 in their last 73 road games
- 15-40 in their last 55 games as a road underdog of +151 to +200
St Louis is:
- 39-17 in their last 56 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game
- 5-0 in their last 5 when their opponent scores 5 goals or more in their previous game