NHL Picks: Bet A More Motivated Panthers To Win Against Blues

Dana Lane

Friday, February 12, 2016 5:31 PM UTC

Friday, Feb. 12, 2016 5:31 PM UTC

The St. Louis Blues are trying to claw their way into the Stanly Cup discussion and this game presents an opportunity to do just that as they face the Florida Panthers. Who will be our NHL pick?

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NHL Pick: Panthers -111
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


Blues vs. Panthers
Injuries are starting to creep up on the Florida Panthers but we can't ignore their streak of six wins in eight games or the fact that the Blues have lost four of six including a home loss to the last place Winnipeg Jets. 

When it comes to the St. Louis it's hard to even suggest that they have been playing average hockey. The Blues have been horrible offensively and its not just over a few games.

St.Louis has scored only 10 goals in their last seven games and four of the 10 was scored against Minnesota. They have not scored more than two goals on the road since January 8th and haven't scored more than three goals on the road since December 15th. Success has come with grinding defensive oriented play that has to catch up with them at some point.  Being held to one goal or less in five of their last six games is going to take it's toll.

Of their top six forwards, only Paul Stastny has played well enough to be considered an average player at best. It wouldn't worry me as much if I thought the Blues were applying pressure and it was just a matter of not getting shots to go in but they've been very limited in their shots on goal as they rank 17th in the league.

Normally reliable, Vladimir Tarasenko, has only had one point in his last seven games played. His offensive numbers may not show a glaring difference than normal but defensively he is non-existent.  I never know what I'm going to get from him on a nightly basis.

Brian Elliot (12-7-6, 2.05 goals against average, .932 save percentage) has done a brilliant job since starting goaltender, Jake Allen (18-10-3, 2.17 goals against average, .924 save percentage), went down with a bad knee. Elliot has been holding the fort down in his absence but until the Blues can show some more of an offensive presence it's hard for me to back them on the road against one of the elite teams of the league, who is eighth in offense.  

The Panthers have won 19 of their last 26 games after bouncing back to beat Buffalo after being shutout by Pittsburgh. Shows character and it also shows they are not going away in the second half of the season.  

Florida goaltender, Roberto Luongo (24-13-5, 2.17 goals against average, .928 save percentage) hasn't been great on the road this season but at home he's 15-8 with a 2.05 goals against average.  He owns a 16-14 career mark against the Blues with a steller 2.25 goals against. I feel there is too much pressure on Luongo at times which may come back to hurt them in a potential series against Pittsburgh but we'll ride them out to beat a team that puts little pressure on opposing goaltenders. 

The Panthers have been an attractive play in big games as of late winning 12 of their last 15 games against teams with a winning record and are 20-6 the game following a win. We're backing Florida with our NHL picks in this one, where they are favorites in the NHL odds boards

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