NHL Picks: NY Rangers vs. St. Louis Blues

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, October 12, 2013 2:17 PM GMT

The Rangers and the Blues will square off on Saturday night in St. Louis with face off scheduled for 8:05 PM ET.

NHL Preview

According to NHL betting odds the Blues are a sizable -190 money line favorite and the posted total is 5.5. The Blues are also -1.5 (+152) on the puck line. This will be the first meeting between these 2 clubs since 12/15/2011 when the Blues prevailed 4-1 at home.

Road Weary and Struggling Rangers

The Rangers early schedule is brutal to say the least. Tonight will be their 5th game of a 9-game road trip to begin the season. After winning at Los Angeles 3-1 on Monday night to even their record at 1-1, they’ve been pathetic in their last 2-games. On Tuesday night they were hammered 9-2 at San Jose, and were blanked on Thursday 6-0 at Anaheim. The 15-goals in the last 2 losses were the most allowed by Rangers team in consecutive games since December, 2006.  Backup Marty Biron will be in goal for the Rangers this evening. Henrik Lundquist has been given the night off after starting all 4-games and allowing 15-goals. The Rangers have been outshot in the first 4-games 145-106 and have been outscored 20-6. This certainly is not the start that new head coach Alain Vigneault envisioned when he took the job. Unfortunately the “Blue Shirts” will be without the services of Rick Nash who was sent home on Thursday with concussion like symptoms.

Check out my other pick for today, regarding the sabres and Blackhawks~

The Red-Hot Blues

Unlike the Rangers the Blues have had the comforts of home to start the season and have fully taken advantage of it. St. Louis is off to a 3-0 starts and comes off a thrilling 3-2 win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. Alexander Steen scored with just 21.1 seconds left in regulation in that win. The Blues first 2-wins of the season certainly lacked the drama displayed in the win versus Chicago. The Blues defeated Nashville 4-2 in their season opener and crushed the Florida Panthers 7-0. Jaroslav Halak has been terrific in goal to start the year. He allowed 2 power play goals by Chicago in the last game and hasn’t allowed an even strength goal since the 2nd period of the opener versus Nashville. Although they didn’t face Eastern Conference teams in last year’s strike shortened season, it’s worth noting their dominance versus non-conference opponents. The Blues have gone 26-11 versus the East since the start of the 2010-2011 year. The Blues scoring thus far has been very balanced with 8 different players accounting for 3-points or more.

Blues Love the Low Side

The Blues have gone under the total in 24 of 28 games in the last 3 seasons following a 2-game unbeaten streak. That number improves to 14 of the last 17 games going under following a 3-game win streak.  After 2 consecutive home wins the Blues have seen 13 of those 14 games go under the total in the last 3 seasons with an average of just 3.5 goals combined being scored per contest.

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Final Analysis 

These two clubs are obviously headed in different directions at this current time. The Rangers look totally lost in their last 2-games specifically in their own zone. Their defensive coverage has been horrible, and even star goalie Henrik Lundquist has had an awful start. It doesn’t get any easier having to face a St. Louis team that’s riding a wave of momentum and will be playing their 4th consecutive home game. In the last 3 seasons betting against road teams that are being outscored by 0.5 or more goals per game, and they’ve allowed 5 or more goals in each of their last 2-games, has made you a winner on 25 of those 28 wagers (89.3%). My NHL picks here is with the Blues -1.5 on the puck-line.

Free Pick: Blues -1.5 (+152) over the Rangers.