St. Louis Blues (36-11-5) at Carolina Hurricanes (24-20-9)
|Date & Time||Friday January 31, 2014, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Carolina Hurricanes +143 / St. Louis Blues -157 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Blues look for their fourth straight win on Friday night as they head into Raleigh to take on the Carolina Hurricanes.
St. Louis has been as consistent as they come this season as they have been red hot since the puck dropped in October and with a 36-11-5 mark they sit just two points back of the Blackhawks for top spot in the Central division. The Blues are a very deep team that does everything right and doesn’t have too many weaknesses and with Ken Hitchcock calling the shot behind the bench they have a great chance to win every night from a game plan perspective. Jarosalv Halak and Brian Elliott have split time once again this season but the former has taken the reins as the full time starter and he will get the call again here tonight against Cam Ward. Despite their success this season the Blues are still expected to make some noise at the trade deadline with most of the speculation circling around the upgrade in goal with Ryan Miller coming to mind who would certainly improve the team but Halak has played very well and has shown he can lead a team through a deep playoff run.
The Hurricanes have played better of late but come into tonight’s contest coming off a loss and still have some work to do if they want to qualify for the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Canes were expected to be a shoe in for the postseason at the beginning of the year and while they may reap the benefits of a very weak division and slip in by default I don’t think too many people will have them advancing past for the first round unless they can add some pieces. The Staal brothers have been on a tear of late but the secondary scoring for the Canes has disappeared as Jeff Skinner and Alex Semin have been quiet and the role players haven’t been able to chip a few in and help out. Despite being the home team the Canes are pretty heavy underdogs here and for good reason as they Blues are in the top echelon of teams in this league and quite simply, the Hurricanes are not. I am not a fan of the price but I don’t see how St. Louis drops this one and I think they leave Raleigh with two points.