Ride The Blues' Bandwagon & Take Them With Your NHL Picks Over Sharks

Dana Lane

Monday, February 22, 2016 6:58 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 22, 2016 6:58 PM GMT

The St.Louis Blues find themselves just two points out of first place in the Central are at home to take on the San Jose Sharks. Don't miss our analysis and NHL picks for the night.

Sharks vs. Blues Game Preview
The unfortunate news out of St.Louis is that Alexander Steen will be out at least a month. Steen is the Blues number scorer, but even with that injury we're not jumping off the Blues bandwagon. Some may disagree, but I've always thought that Steen was an average player who much better offensively than he ever was defensively. He isn't as consistent as I'd like from the center position. We'll see how the Blues go about replacing Steen, but I expect to see Jori Lehtera getting some more ice time. His amount of points aren't as impressive but his size, 6'2, 210, makes them a bit stronger defensively. We'll know more in morning skate who the line pairing could be. 

Goaltender, Jake Allen, is back after a lower body injury. It will be interesting how the Blues handle his return considering how strong Brian Elliot has preformed. Dating back to January 16th, Elliot has gone 10-2-2 with a 1.70 goals against average. Elliot gave up four goals, in a 6-4 victory over Arizona Saturday so we may see Allen (18-10-3, 2.17 goals against, .924 save percentage) in goal. The six goals matched a season high. Hopefully thats a sign that the Blues are about the breakout offensively after scoring no more than two goals in nine of their last 12 games.

The Blues are in a revenge spot after the Sharks beat Elliot February 4th, and since, went on a 6-0-1 run since the 3-1 loss. During the unbeaten streak the Blues allowed just 12 goals in that time.

The recent return of Jaden Schwartz has produced 4 goals and an assist in his five games back from a fractured ankle. The Blues are 10-2 with him on the ice this season. Schwartz's return is another reason why there won't be that big of a dropoff with the Steen injury. 

The Blues penalty kill has been stellar. In nine games this month, St.Louis has killed off 38 of 40 penalties (95%). 

The Blues have won five straight and are within reach of the top spot in the tight Central Division.

The Sharks are not without injury. Forward, Tommy Wingels, and defensemen, Brenden Dillon will not play, but could return Wednesday against Colorado. Wingles didn't play because of an upper body injury suffered Thursday against Florida. The Wingels injury isn't a major one to the Sharks, but he does provide some versatility and depth. Dillon has now missed five games but practiced Sunday and is closer to returning. Dillion's loss is bigger because at 6'4, 225, he brings a big body and some physicality. 

 

Betting Analysis & Pick
So, when handicapping this game, I looked to see how the Blues respond after having a huge offensive night. Some teams have one great night and then tank from over confidence, the Blues are not one of those teams owning an impressive 31-12 record the game after scoring five or more goals in the previous games. And with the Blues a home favorite at -120 in the NHL odds boards, we are backing the Blues in this one with our NHL picks for Monday.

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Free NHL Pick: Blues -113
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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