National Hockey league action within the Central Division this even and a very important battle will take place as the Winnipeg Jets grapple with the St Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center in St Louis, Missouri. The Jets are off a 4-3 home loss to the Kings, while the Blues are off a 3-2 home loss to the Sharks. Goalie Probables: Connor Hellebuyck will get the nod for the Jets and he will be opposed by Jake Allen.
Jets Fall To The Kings At Home
The Winnipeg Jets are in 2nd place in the Central and just two points behind the Nashville Predators and a big part of their success this year has been their play at home. Well, they come into this game off a 4-3 home loss to the Kings and just finished their homestand by going just 3-3 on it. Thet compares to them going 20-5 her at home prior to the homestand. Still, this is a team that will be in the postseason for just the 3rd time in the history of their team and once in the playoffs, they have a shot at doing some damage as they are solid at both ends of the ice. Blake Wheeler has been playing very well of late as he now has 17 goals on the year and 15 points in his last 10 games after scoring once and adding an assist in the loss to the Kings. Also scoring in the loss was Dustin Byfuglien, which was his 4th of the year and Patrik Laine, which was his 28th. The Jets have gone 12-17 on the road and they have averaged 2.72 gpg and have allowed 2.90 gpg in those games.
Taking the loss against the Kings was Connor Hellebuyck, who allowed four goals on 32 shot attempts to fall to 31-17 with a 2.37 GAA and a .922 save percentage on the year, while out on the road he has gone 9-11 with a 2.62 GAA and a .918 save percentage. In his career, he has gone 26-27 with a 2.71 GAA on the road and 26-17 with a 2.23 GAA against the Central Division, while against the Blues he has gone 3-2 with a 1.79 GAA.
Winnipeg has been a very solid offensive team so far as they rank 3rd in the league in scoring at 3.28 gpg, while also ranking 14th in shots taken (32.0 spg) and 3rd in power play conversions, converting on 24.3% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very solid so far as they come in ranked 7th in goals allowed, giving up 2.65 gpg, while also ranking 10th in shots allowed (31.2 spg) and 10th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 17.9% of their chances.
The Blues Come In Struggling
The St Louis Blues are trying to hang in the race for the Central Division, but they have fallen back some of late as they come into this game struggling. The Blues are off a 3-2 home loss to the Sharks and it was their 4th loss in a row to drop them to 4th place in the Central and nine points out of first place. They are still in the 7th slot in the Western Conference playoff standings but their lead over 8th placed Minnesota and 9th placed Los Angeles is just one point. They really need to turn things around and win over the Jets in this game would be huge for them. They need to get their offense back on track as they have scored just 25 goals in their last 10 games and we note that 11 of those goals came in two games. Scoring in the loss to the Sharks was Ivan Barbashev, which was his 4th of the year and Vladimir Tarasenko, which was his 24th of the year. The Blues have gone 19-13 here at home for the year and they have averaged 2.88 gpg and have allowed 2.50 gpg in those games.
Taking the loss against the Sharks was Carter Hutton, who allowed three goals on 23 shot attempts to fall to 15-8 with a 1.87 GAA and a .938 save percentage on the year, including 9-5 with a 1.89 GAA and a .937 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 27-19 with a 2.36 GAA in his home games and 14-23 with a 2.64 GAA against the Central Division, while against the Jets he has gone 4-5 with a 2.16 GAA. We may see Jake Allen in this one and he has gone 19-19 with a 2.72 GAA and a .908 save percentage on the year, including 190-8 with a 2.66 GAA and a .908 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 58-37 with a 2.29 GAA in his home games and 40-26 with a 2.38 GAA against the Central Division, while against the Jets he has gone 4-4 with a 2.96 GAA.
The Blues come into this contest ranked 20th in the league in scoring at 2.79 gpg, while also ranking 8th in shots taken (33.2 spg) and 27th in power play conversions, converting on 16.6% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very good as they come in ranked 4th in goals allowed, giving up 2.56 gpg, while also ranking 3rd in shots allowed (29.9 spg) and 11th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 17.9% of their chances.
- 5-12 in their last 17 road games
- 3-11 in their last 14 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
St Louis is:
- 20-9 in their last 29 games playing on two days rest
- 106-50 in their last 156 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
This is a huge game for the Blues, who really need to get back on track or they could slide out of the top eight in the Western Conference. They have lost their last four games in a row, but I feel that they can get back on track in this one against a Winnipeg team that has gone just 12-17 on the road, while the Blues have gone 19-13 here at home. Connor Hellebuyck has gone just 9-11 on the road for the year and while the Blues have struggled on offense of late, I look for them to put up enough goals in this one to walk away with the win. Take the Blues to end their four-game slide in this one.