National Hockey League action on Monday evening and the Central Division will duke it out with the Pacific Division as the St Louis Blues head to Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta to grapple with the Calgary Flames. The Blues are off a bad 5-2 home loss to the Islanders, while the Flames are off a 6-3 home win over the Red Wings. Goalie Probables: The Blues will be sending out Jake Allen in this game and the Flames will counter with Mike Smith.
Blues Get Routed By Islanders At Home
The St Louis Blues are leading the Central Division and they have the 2nd most points in the league, but they really had a clucker in their 5-2 home loss to the Islanders on Saturday night. Despite the loss, they have still won seven of their last nine games. This is a very solid team that will be in the mix for a division title all season long. Scoring in the loss to the Islanders was Brayden Schenn, which was his 5th of the year and Scottie Upshall, which was his 2nd of the year. Leading the Blues in scoring this year has been Jaden Schwartz with nine, while Vladimir Tarasenko is 2nd with eight. The Blues have gone 6-3 on the road so far. Taking the loss against the Islanders was Jake Allen, who allowed four goals on 18 shot attempts before being replaced by Carter Hutton, who allowed one goal on 11 shot attempts. Allen is now 9-5 with a 2.59 GAA and a .914 save percentage on the year, while on the road he has gone 3-3 with a 2.76 GAA and .908 save percentage. In his career, he has gone 45-32 with a 2.57 GAA on the road and 22-11 with a 2.45 GAA during the month of November, while against the Pacific Division he has gone 27-14 with a 2.13 GAA and he is 4-1 with a 2.86 GAA against the Flames in his career.
The Blues come into this contest ranked 11th in the league in scoring at 3.27 gpg, while also ranking 10th in shots taken (32.7 spg) and 22nd in power play conversions, converting on 16.3% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very good as the come in ranked 5th in goals allowed, giving up 2.40 gpg, while also ranking 9th in shots allowed (31.4 spg) and 24th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 21.6% of their chances.
Gaudreau Leads Flames Over Red Wings
The Calgary Flames are off to a decent 9-7 start to their year, which puts them in 4th place in the Pacific Division. They come in having won four of their last five games after taking down the Detroit Red Wings at home by a score of 6-3. They have now scored 13 goals in their last three games, after putting up a total of 12 goals in their previous seven games. This team needs their offense to continue to play well, but it may not be easy as the Blues don’t give up a whole lot. Johnny Gaudreau led the attack in the win over the Wings as he scored his 5th and 6th goals of the year. Also scoring in the win was Mark Jankowski, which was the first of his career, Micheal Ferland, which was his 6th of the year, Matthew Tkachuk, which was his 4th and Jaromir Jagr, which was his first of the year. The Flames have gone just 5-05 at home so far. Snatching up the win against the Red Wings was Mike Smith, who stopped 39 of the 42 shots that he faced in the game to improve to 9-6 with a 2.55 GAA and a .924 save percentage on the year overall, including 5-5 with a 2.95 GAA and a .905 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 121-112 with a 2.50 GAA in his home starts and 43-43 with a 2.61 GAA during the month of November, plus he is 27-66 with a 3.00 GAA against the Central Division, while against the Blues in his career he has gone 4-14 with a 3.52 GAA.
The Flames come into this game ranked 25th in the league in scoring at 2.63 gpg, while also ranking 15th in shots taken (32.0 spg) and 21st in power play conversions, converting on 16.4% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very average as they rank 14th in goals allowed, giving up 2.88 gpg, while also ranking 24th in shots allowed (33.4 spg) and 27th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 24.1% of their chances.
St Louis is:
- 6-1 in their last seven vs. Western Conference
- 9-3 in their last 12 games following a loss of three or more goals
- 26-56 in their last 82 vs. a team with a winning % above .600
- 1-4 in their last five vs. the Western Conference
The Flames have played very well of late, while the Blues lead the Western Conference in points, despite the fact that they are off a bad 5-2 home loss to the Islanders. The Blues have been really tough in the crease this year and they will be taking on a Flames offense that has been one of the worst in the league this year. Mike Smith has struggled against the Blues in his career as he is just 4-14 with a 3.52 GAA against them, while Jake Allen is 4-1 with a 2.86 GAA in his career against the Flames. This should be a very good game, but in the end, I look for the Blues to come out on top, especially since they have won four of their last five games here in Calgary.