The St. Louis Blues had momentum going into Game 3 of their first-round series with the Minnesota Wild but they failed to carry over their effort from Game 2. Instead, they played their worst game of the series and handed the Wild an easy win. Can they get off the mat and cash as a dog on the NHL betting lines on Wednesday?
The St. Louis Blues Can Win Because…
They have to play better than they did in Game 3. It’s hard to imagine them being any worse.
The Blues played with absolutely no life on Monday, as the final score indicates. Digging deeper into the stats, they were flat-out pathetic. They only generated 17 shots on net – just 10 in the first two periods – and failed to generate a power play all game long. The Wild has zero penalty minutes, the Blues had 16. The Wild had 17 takeaways, the Blues had just three. Defensively, they had no answer for the Wild’s top line, which combined for both of the significant goals (the last was an empty-netter) as Zach Parise, Jason Pominville and Mikael Granlund each had two points on the night.
St. Louis simply didn’t show up tonight. If they hope to have any chance in this series, they need to find a way to play with more fire and get back to business in Game 4. They were able to stymie the Wild in Game 2 but they didn’t employ any of the
The Minnesota Wild Can Win Because…
They have been in control of this series, for the most part, and Game 4 won’t be any different. Minnesota has now won two of the three games and even Game 2 – the one they lost – they were still within arm’s reach in the third period. While goaltender Jake Allen has played well for the Blues, Minnesota has still had no issues scoring. They have tallied a total of eight goals in three games and considering this is a low-scoring series, that’s plenty.
The Blues are not a good road team in the playoffs as evidenced by the fact that they’ve now lost nine straight road playoff games. There’s little reason to believe their offense will show up as Minnesota has completely shut them down so far. Expect more of the same in Game 4.
It’s just not happening for the Blues right now at the offensive end. They finished last year’s playoffs 14th in scoring, averaging just 2.33 per game. That’s a large reason why they went out and spent all of that money on Paul Stastny, who had 10 points in seven playoff games last season. However, he has zero points and the Blues are averaging just 2.0 goals per game in this series.
While the side is hard to pick here as we’ll surely see a stronger effort from St. Louis, under should be a good pick on the total. Only one of the three games has gone over the NHL betting odds and we’ve seen an average of 4.67 goals per game in this series. Look for another low-scoring affair on Wednesday and take the under with your NHL picks.
NHL Pick: Under at The Greek