Getting straight to the meat of the stats we see that the Sens are 24-21-11 while the Blues are 37-12-5. You can read into that what you will but the sportsbooks have the best NHL odds on a Blues win at -200 and an Ottawa win at +180. If you want to see how the teams compare on the grandest of all stages who should know that St Louis are +900 to lift the Stanley Cup this term (that’s about the same as Boston) while the Sens are waaay down around +5000 (sitting ugly with Phoenix and Columbus).
And a third slant at the hockey odds shows you that the Blues are joint second favourite (with the Blackhawks) to top the Western Conference (after the Anaheim Ducks) at +400 while the Senators are +4000 to win the Atlantic Division. That’s second worse after the Florida Panthers.
Enough with the bigger picture…WHERE’S THE MONEY MIKE?
Looking at more immediate stats, that’s the last ten matches for these two sides you’ll see Ottawa are 4-3-3 and St. Louis are 6-4-0. That slants the likely winner reasonably heavily one way. The fact that the Blues haven't recorded a draw in their last ten either means that they’re due one, or that we won’t see one. Either way I’ll let you decide but I will point out that the best Hockey odds on the game ending drawn that your Humble Handicapper can find are on +340. But when you consider that the win/lose/draw also have St Louis at -125 and the Sens at +280 NHL odds, it doesn’t seem that likely.
Your Humble Handicapper is NOT betting on a draw
So far this season the Ottawa Senators went and beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2 in overtime last December in their first of two games they’ll be playing this season. It was a special game for rookie defenseman Cody Ceci, as he scored the game-winner, with his first NHL goal (just before the four minute mark of overtime). But the Blues have won four of their past five games, and should be well rested ahead of this clash (they practiced Monday but otherwise had two days off in St. Louis) while the Sens played the Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh Penguins (in Pittsburgh) on Monday. If you weren't paying attention the Sens lost 2-1 in OT in that one.
Due a win (or not)?
The Sens have now lost two in a row and four of their last six (2-2-2). In their loss to Pittsburgh, keeper Craig Anderson made 46 saves, but it wasn't enough and the Penguins, snatched victory when James Neal scored 1:55 into overtime. A loss is a loss is a loss, but Sens fans can be pleased with the way their team responded to the one sided 6-3 road mauking against the Maple Leafs last Saturday.
Bookies don’t seem to think it’s clear skies of the Sens as they have the shortest correct score odds on a Sens victory at +2200. That’s behind the Blues winning 3-2 and 3-1 (both starting around +1400).
Not feeling blue
St Louis beat the Nashville Predators 4-3 in a shootout at the Scottrade Center on Saturday, and although they trail the Chicago Blackhawks by three points for the division lead they could go into the Olympic Break top of the division. Victory over the Sens would be the first step.
Your Humble Handicapper doesn’t think that the Blues will need any more reason to turn on their charms against a slightly stuttering Sens side. Count on the Sens to pull off the win in your NHL picks.
Prediction: Sens win 3-2 available at best hockey odds of +2300 with 888sport.