National Hockey League action on Saturday afternoon and we will see a pair of West Division teams square off as the Colorado Avalanche invade Enterprise Center to battle it out with the St Louis Blues. The Avs enter this contest at 31-13 on the year while the Blues check-in at 19-25. Colorado leads the season series 5-1.
The Avs Keep RollingAt the beginning of the year, I told you all that the Colorado Avs were the pick by many to win it all this year. They started out very mediocre, but the Avs are showing why they were the top-ranked team coming into the year. Colorado enters this game having won their last five games in a row and 18 of their last 21. They were atop the West Division standings but currently trail the Golden Knights by two games. Still, Colorado is the team to beat in the division and they have already clinched a playoff berth. The Avs and the Blues are in the midst of a four-game set, and after Colorado took the first two games at home, they will now try and keep it going as the scene shifts to St Louis. Since losing 8-3 at Minnesota, Colorado has outscored their last five opponents 18-8.
In the last game, they topped the Blues by a score of 4-2, and scoring in the win was Brandon Saad, which was his 15th of the year, Andre Burakovsky, who scored twice and now has 14 on the year, and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, which was his 12th. Nathan MacKinnon had three assists in the game to run his point streak to 12 in a row. He has 21 points over that stretch. Grabbing the win was Devan Dubnyk, who stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced to move to 5-11 with a 3.10 GAA on the year, including 2-0 with a 2.51 GAA in his two starts with the Avs. He began the season at San Jose. Dubnyk will get the start here as Philipp Grubauer is still out, and he is 16-21 with a .317 GAA against the Blues in his career.
Team Stats & Rankings: Colorado enters this contest ranked 1st in scoring at 3.59 gpg, 1st in shots per game at 34.7, and 7th in power-play conversions at 23.5%. At the defensive end of the ice, they are ranked 3rd in goals allowed at 2.32 gpg, 1st in shots per game allowed at 25.7, and 9th in penalty kill at 82.6%.
The Blues Come In StrugglingThe St. Louis Blues are struggling and at the wrong time of the year. The Blues enter this game having lost their last three games in a row and 10 of their last 13 to fall to 5th place in the West Division. They are still in the hunt for a playoff spot, trailing 4th place Arizona by just one point. Still, if they hope to stay in the race, they need to start putting together some wins. In order for them to get back on track, St Louis will need the offense to improve. In their last 13 games, the Blues did score nine goals in a win over Minnesota, but they have been held to three goals or less in their other 12 games over that stretch. St Louis has averaged 1.75 gpg in those other 12 games.
In the game two loss of this set, Jaden Schwartz notched both goals to give him six on the year. The Blues have not been that bad of late at the other end of the ice, allowing just 2.91 gpg in their last 12 games. Absorbing the loss was Jordan Binnington, who allowed three goals on 25 shot attempts to fall to 12-19 with a 2.72 GAA on the year, while here at home, he has gone 6-11 with a 2.70 GAA. He has gone 40-23 with a 2.23 GAA at Enterprise Center and 4-6 with a 3.38 GAA against the Avs in his career. Binnington is 1-4 with a 3.28 GAA against Colorado this year.
Team Stats & Rankings: The Blues this contest ranked 16th in scoring at 2.82 gpg, 16th in shots per game at 29.8, and 15th in power-play conversions at 20.2%. At the defensive end of the ice, they are ranked 21st in goals allowed at 3.11, 15th in shots per game allowed at 29.8, and 28th in penalty kill at 75.9%.
- The Favorite is 41-17 in the last 58 meetings
- 16-5 in their last 21 games following a win
- 43-15 in their last 58 vs. a team with a losing record
Trends are Courtesy Of Covers.com St Louis is:
- 4-10 in their last 14 games playing on 1 days rest
- 3-9 in their last 12 vs. a team with a winning % above .600
- 1-7 in their last 8 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The St Louis Blues won the first meeting between these teams this year but the Avs have won the last five. Colorado has been one of the hottest teams in the league of late as they have won their last five games in a row and 18 of their last 21. They have already clinched a playoff berth but the race for the division title is still up for grabs, so the Avs cannot take the night off, St Louis is normally a good home team but they have lost 21 of their last 28 here at Enterprise Center, including 15 of their 22 games here this year. The Blues have struggled to score of late and Colorado comes in having allowed just eight goals over their last five games. The Blues do not stack up to the red-hot Avs in this one.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Avs have Devan Dubnyk in the crease for this one and he has looked good in his two games with Colorado, posting a 2.51 GAA in those games, compared to a 3.10 GAA in his time with the Sharks this year. A big reason for that is the San Jose defense is 27th in the league in shots per game allowed while the Avs are 1st in that department. Dubnyk will do fine here, especially against a St. Louis team that has averaged just 1.75 gpg in 12 of their last 13 games. The Blues have averaged just 2.77 gpg at home while the Avs have allowed just 2.60 gpg on the road. Colorado will get their fair share of goals in this one, but the Blues will not put up enough for the game to go Over the total. Lastly, the Under is 13-6-3 in the last 22 meetings between these teams here in St Louis.