St. Louis Blues (42-14-6) at Minnesota Wild (34-21-7)
|Date & Time||Sunday March 9, 2014, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Minnesota Wild +110 / St. Louis Blues -121 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Blues look to pad their division lead in Minnesota on Sunday but they’ll be in tough against one of the hottest teams in the league who has won five games in a row.
The Blues were considered a Stanley Cup favourite in the preseason and once the puck dropped those perceptions escalated even further as they are without a doubt one of the best teams in the NHL and look poised to break through with a deep playoff run. However, the addition of Ryan Miller puts them over the edge as they have a world class goaltender who is in the top five in the league in my opinion and now without a worry between the pipes the blue line can take more risks which means more offensive opportunities and as such more goals. St. Louis is scary at the moment and the rest of the league should take notice if they haven’t already but with that being said they have a target on their backs and a team like Minnesota will be playing their A-game in hopes of taking down the Central division leaders.
The Wild barely snuck into the postseason a year ago and they were quickly ousted by the Cup winning Blackhawks but expectations remained high in the Twin City as their free agent acquisitions set the tone for success. Minnesota has had to endure a number of setbacks namely between the pipes as Josh Harding who was having a remarkable season is sidelined as he continues his courageous battle with MS and backup Nik Backstrom is out as well but his play wasn’t up to par to begin with. Now, the Wild have to go with the combination of Darcy Kuemper and Ilya Bryzgalov who have shown at times they can steal a game for their club but heading into a potential playoff run outsiders can’t be too confident in either guy being able to lead their team. This is a tight game to call as the Wild are at home, are getting plus money, and have won five games in a row but to me the difference will be Ryan Miller who continues to shine in his new digs and I think the Blues snap Minnesota’s winning ways.