No More Singing the Blues: St. Louis to End Skid vs. Jets

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, February 22, 2018 6:27 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018 6:27 PM UTC

The St. Louis Blues have picked an inopportune time to go into a slump as they look to end a four-game losing streak Friday vs. visiting Winnipeg.

Winnipeg Jets (79 points) at St. Louis Blues (72 points)Free NHL Pick: BluesBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Five games on Friday’s NHL schedule, and the only one that features two teams currently in the Stanley Cup playoff field is Winnipeg at St. Louis with an 8 p.m. ET start from the Scottrade Center.

It’s conceivable this could be a first-round postseason matchup in the Central Division – or the Blues could miss the playoffs entirely. The playoffs would be the only way these teams would play again as this is the finale of the four-game regular-season series. The Blues lead 2-1 and won the game in St. Louis on Dec. 16, 2-0, as Carter Hutton was brilliant with 48 saves. That total set a franchise record for the most saves in a shutout, topping Chris Mason's mark of 47 on Nov. 25, 2008, at Nashville.

The Blues also won the most recent matchup Feb. 9 in Winnipeg, 5-2. Vladimir Tarasenko was the No. 1 star with two goals. Jake Allen was in net for that one. Connor Hellebuyck made 22 saves for the Jets. He’s 1-1-0 with a 2.03 GAA and .920 save percentage in his two games vs. the Blues in 2017-18.

The Jets are 7-2 in the past nine meetings overall and have won four of their past five in St. Louis.

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Feeling The Blues

As of this writing, St. Louis would be a wild-card team in the West, but that could change by this weekend if the Blues don’t end their season-high four-game losing streak Friday. St. Louis has scored just seven goals in the skid but only dropped one by more than a goal. The Blues are in the midst of an eight-game stretch against all likely playoff teams. The losses were to the Penguins, Predators, Stars and Sharks and after this one, the Blues head to Nashville and Minnesota. A break in the schedule arrives next Wednesday with a visit from Detroit, but then it’s a four-game trip to Dallas and the California Swing.

One problem with betting Blues games is you never really know until the morning skate the day of a game whether it will be Hutton or Allen in net. Hutton got the call Tuesday in a 3-2 loss to San Jose, and he continues to lead the NHL in goals-against average (.187) and save percentage (.938). Allen has dropped his past two and is 19-17-2 with a 2.72 GAA and .908 SV this season.

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LIVE: Watch Mike Yeo's postgame press conference following the game vs. San Jose. #stlblues

— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) February 21, 2018

Won’t matter who is in net if the Blues don’t score first. They are 7-17-2 when the opponent scores first. Since Nov. 18, St. Louis has come from behind to win just once. On the flip side, the team is 27-6-2 when scoring first.

The Jets are right on the heels of first-place Nashville in the Central, and Winnipeg has the best goals differential of any division team at plus-38 – only Vegas is better in the Western Conference. This is the Jets’ first road game since way back on Jan. 25. They just completed a mammoth 10-game homestand with a 6-4 record (two OT losses) following a 4-3 regulation defeat to the Kings on Tuesday.

One bright spot from Tuesday was rising superstar Patrik Laine scoring his team-leading 28th goal of the season. It was his 16th on the power play, which is No. 1 in the NHL. The Jets are excellent with the man advantage, ranking third at 24.3 percent.

Blues coach Mike Yeo ripped his guys a bit after Tuesday’s loss and gave the team Wednesday off from practice. I expect a bit of urgency here. Winnipeg is a much different club on the road and has dropped 12 of its past 17 away. Take the Blues for a Friday NHL pick.

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