NHL Picks: Blues vs. Bruins

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, November 21, 2013 2:36 PM GMT

The Boston Bruins host the St. Louis Blues on Thursday at the TD Garden. Let's look at how close the hockey odds are and decide on our NHL picks from there.

According to NHL betting odds Boston is a -120 money line home favorite and the total is 5.0. The road team has won the last 6-games between these two teams. St. Louis has won in each of their last 5 trips to Boston. The series between these clubs has seen just 1 of the last 6-games stay under the total.

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Under the Radar

Despite their fast start to the season the Blues have seemed to fly under the radar when it pertains to national media attention. The reality of it all is that the Blues have lost just 3 of their first 20-games this season in regulation time. Currently they possess the league’s top power play converting at a robust 25.7% rate, and are 2nd in the NHL averaging 3.4 goals per game. Casual NHL observers would be surprised to know that the 2nd leading scorer in the NHL right now is none other than the Blues Alexander Steen. Steen has accounted for 17-goals and 9-assists for 26-points. He’s just 2-points behind the NHL leader Sidney Crosby who has 28-points. The goaltending tandem of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliot is top shelf. The Blues have all the ingredients to make a deep run in the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs this spring. St. Louis enters tonight having won 9 of their last 12 versus the money line.

Stifling their Opponents

The Boston Bruins have just locked down the opposition defensively this season. They’re allowing just a paltry 1.8 goals per game which is best in the NHL. Collectively their defensemen are arguably the best in the league, and goaltender Tuukka Rask may be at the top of his trade on the planet right now. Rask has started 18 of the Bruins first 21-games, posted an excellent 1.61 GAA, and a terrific .946 save percentage. The Bruins enter tonight having won 6 of their last 7-games. This will be the first of a 3-game home stand in which they will also host Carolina on Saturday and Pittsburgh on Monday. Boston has gone over the total in just 1 of their first 12 home games this season.

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Final Analysis

This is a very intriguing matchup between two of the heavyweights in the NHL. It’s also a contrast in styles with the top scoring team (St. Louis) in the league, versus the best defensive team (Boston) in the NHL. I look for this to turn out to be a playoff type of a game, with tight checking, high intensity, and stellar goaltending on both sides. My lean here for my NHL picks goes toward a low scoring affair.

NHL Pick: Blues/Bruins to go under the total of 5.0