St. Louis Blues vs. Minnesota Wild - 4/16/15 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Minnesota Wild (46-28-8) at St. Louis Blues (51-24-7)
NHL Hockey: Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 9:30 pm (Scottrade Center)
The Line: St. Louis Blues -145 / Minnesota Wild +130 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The Minnesota Wild head to the Scottrade Center to tangle with the St Louis Blues in round one of the playoffs.
The Minnesota Wild were red hot heading in to the final weeks of the regular season but suddenly cooled off with wins in two of their last six. Facing the Wild likely means a defensive struggle because this is not a high flying attack at 2.8 goals on nearly 31 shots to sit 13th in both categories. The defensive minded Wild allowed just 2.4 goals on less then 28 shots to rank 6th and 4th respectively to go along with the best penalty kill unit in the game. Zach Parise led Minnesota in goals and assists with 33 goals and 62 points with Nino Nederreiter second with 24 tallies. Devan Dubnyk was the centerpiece of the defense with a sparkling 1.78 GAA with five shutouts in 39 contests.
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The St Louis Blues were one of the hotter teams in the game as the year was drawing to a close with victories in five of six behind a generally nasty defense. This is a team that has no significant injuries to report and is as balanced as any team in the game with the ability to score and defend. The Blues lit the lamp to the tune of 2.9 goals on almost 31 shots to rank 5th. The defense was swarming at times with just 2.4 goals allowed which was also 5th.Vladimir Tarasenko paced the scoring with 37 goals with the trio of Braden Schwartz, David Backes and Alexander Steen combining for 78 goals. Brian Elliott posted a 2.25 GAA and five shutouts while Jake Allen posted another four shutouts on 2.28 goals against.
The Wild are 17-4 in their last 21 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game and 4-1 in their last 5 Conference Quarterfinals games while going 12-45 in their last 57 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600. The under is 6-0 in Blues last 6 Thursday games while St Louis are 0-4 in their last 4 Conference Quarterfinals games and 1-7 in their last 8 games playing on 3 or more days rest. Head to head the under is 6-0 in Blues last 6 Thursday games while St Louis are 0-4 in their last 4 Conference Quarterfinals games and 1-7 in their last 8 games playing on 3 or more days rest. I think when a team like Minnesota gets great goaltending they can steal a game from anyone…