The high-flying Avalanche skate into St. Louis on Wednesday night having won eight of their last nine while the Blues are on a three-game winning streak of their own. Let’s analyze this matchup and determine which side is the sharp side in our NHL picks on Wednesday night.
Colorado Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 – 7:30 PM ET at Enterprise Center
Colorado enters Wednesday night’s battle with their divisional rivals from St. Louis with a 4-2 victory over the Coyotes, making that their eighth win over their last nine contests. The Avs broke out to a 3-0 lead before Arizona notched a pair of third-period goals but Mikko Rantanen iced the win with his second tally of the evening into an empty net for his 25th goal of the season.
“They’re playing for their playoff lives and they came out hungry,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said of Arizona. “I thought we had a slow start and then we sort of found our legs halfway through the first period and in the second I thought we did a nice job.
“The key for us is our top guys got the job done. I thought the MacKinnon line was exceptional, (Cale) Makar was really good and Grubi was probably our best player. Those guys getting the job done and special teams were good."
St. Louis Shakin’ Off the Blues
Last week the Blues were in the midst of a shame spiral, having dropped seven straight and sinking into the cellar of the West Division. However, after a 6-1 loss to Vegas on April 5th, the Blues rebounded two nights later with a solid 3-1 victory over the Knights and snapped their seven-game skid.
Following that victory, St. Louis hosted Minnesota and skated to their most dominant win of the season in a 9-1 onslaught that saw the Blues cash as ever-so-slight home dogs. The very next day, St. Louis notched a 3-2 overtime victory over their guests from Minnesota and were looking to make it a 3-0 series sweep as the venue shifted to St. Paul on Monday night, but the game was postponed.
As lopsided as the Friday night fiasco was against the Wild, the Saturday night affair was equally as closely contested. Mike Hoffman lit the lamp with a power-play goal in the second period to knot the game at one apiece before the Wild scored late in that same period to enter the final stanza with a 2-1 lead. However, Hoffman was not done for the night as he tallied again with only 41 seconds left in regulation. The game would go into overtime, and with just two ticks on the clock, Ryan O'Reilly netted the game-winner for his 17th goal of the season.
Speaking of Hoffman, he and his fellow unrestricted free agents, including Jaden Schwartz and Tyler Bozak, were rumored to be trade bait as the deadline loomed. However, General Manager Doug Armstrong was inspired by the team’s recent play and decided to stand pat.
"The way the team has played the last few games, we're in a playoff spot right now," Armstrong told stlouisblues.com. "It's been a tumultuous year from start to finish, from starting late with COVID and all those things. Right now, we're in a playoff spot and there didn't seem to be the proper pieces to add to this team and I didn't see any reason not to keep the team together.”
Wanna Make a Bet?
The Blues are playing excellent hockey as we speak but the Avs have played at a superior level all season long. So, the best way to analyze this is to evaluate the recent history between these clubs and consider the NHL odds on each.
The bottom line is that Colorado has owned this series recently as evidenced by winning six of their last seven meetings with the Blues dating back to last year. The Avalanche lost their first meeting with St. Louis this season but followed that 4-1 loss with 8-0, 3-2, and 2-1 victories over their West Division rivals.
However, the public money will no doubt be on the Avs despite a clearly inflated number to accommodate all of the square action on the chalky road favorite. This gives us plenty of value on the suddenly surging Blues. Toss out the 8-0 blowout and we see that St. Louis has actually outscored Colorado, 7-6, in the remaining three contests this season.
If a quality shop like Bovada wants to give me +165 on the Blues at home, then why not take it?
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.