Minnesota Wild (37-24-11) at St. Louis Blues (49-16-7)
|Date & Time||Thursday March 27, 2014, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: St. Louis Blues -210 / Minnesota Wild +190 --- Over/Under: 5
The Wild take to the road to face against the Blues on Thursday after a sloppy effort at home last night against the Vancouver Canucks.
The Wild had ample opportunity on Wednesday night to inch closer to clinching a playoff spot and distancing themselves from the also rans trying to climb in but they fell flat against the Vancouver Canucks, one of the team’s chasing them, by a 5-2 margin. Minnesota is a very solid team and did make the playoffs last year but they have still underachieved in a sense as many thought they would climb to the top of the league standings after acquiring Zach Parise and Ryan Suter two years ago but that hasn’t come to fruition. There was also much speculation that they would address their goaltending issues at the trade deadline and while they picked up Ilya Bryzgalov that wasn’t the best option for them and now they have to move forward with the well-traveled veteran and youngster Darcy Kuemper. Minny has a shot at redemption on Thursday as they take on the league leading Blues in St. Louis.
The Blues continue to be the class of the Western Conference but are just two points up on the Sharks for top spot and a single point up on the Bruins for the league’s best mark so they know it’ll be a fight to the finish for the President’s Trophy. While capturing the regular season title would be a nice feat the Blues are certainly after the bigger picture and have their sights set on the Stanley Cup which was evident when they went out and grabbed Ryan Miller from the Buffalo Sabres and have plans to extend the goaltender to a long term contract. Miller was an immediate upgrade in the St. Louis net and the addition makes the Blues one of the favourites to win the Western Conference but with the talent level being what it is in the West the road to get there will be very treacherous. As for tonight they take on a Wild team fighting for their lives and who looked very sloppy last night but I expect a much better effort from them tonight. I don’t expect Minnesota to win but I do think they play a better defensive game and as a result this one stays under the number.