Record: 7-14 (-395)
The St. Louis Blues have looked great through two games while the Chicago Blackhawks have looked both good and bad. On Wednesday night, the two teams will square off in what should be one of the games of the week.
The Blackhawks started the season with an impressive 6-4 win over the Washington Capitals but then followed it up by blowing a 2-0 and losing 3-2 at home to the feeble Tampa Bay Lightning. As for St. Louis, they’ve easily cruised through the Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators, outscoring them 11-2.
People who make their sports picks know that the Blues will be a tough team to beat this season if their offense is improved. Their defense and goaltending is stellar, and their weakness has consistently been offense. At this point, though, it looks like they are firing on all cylinders. 10 different players have notched a goal.
My concern with the Blackhawks is that they’ve allowed seven goals in two games. That’s not too bad but both games were at home. It’s early but Corey Crawford’s save percentage is just .875 right now, which is a big drop-off from last season.
The Blues are really going to be focused for this game because not only are the Blackhawks a rival but they are the Stanley Cup champs. The Blues are going to use Wednesday’s game as a barometer to test where they are. With an offense that’s working and a Blackhawks defense that’s been a bit frail to start the year, take the Blues with your NHL picks.
Pick: Blues -120 at WillHill
The Calgary Flames have been one of the best over bets this season and it’s hard to see that changing any time soon. Their goaltending and defense are brutal as they’ve allowed 13 goals so far. Their goaltenders, Joey MacDonald (3.94) and Karri Ramo (3.64), both have lofty GAA’s and both have sub-.900 save percentages. That’s why the Flames have seen an average of 8.3 goals per game in their first three contests.
As for Habs goaltender Carey Price, he doesn’t play particularly well against the Flames. He has a career 4.37 GAA against them over three starts.
Careful taking the side on the NHL odds here. Montreal is the better team but they traditionally don’t play well in Calgary. They haven’t won there in 12 years while losing seven straight contests. Also, the Flames have been competitive so far and have yet to lose in regulation.
Instead, I’ll stick with the over. The goaltending situation and Calgary style of shoddy defensive play figures to produce another high-scoring affair.
Pick: Over 5.5 at Bovada