New York Rangers (45-31-6) at St. Louis Blues (52-23-7)
|Date & Time||Thursday October 9, 2014, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: St. Louis Blues -154 / New York Rangers +140 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues will begin the 2014 season with a Thursday night matchup at the Scottrade Center.
The New York Rangers are coming off their improbable Stanley Cup run under head coach Alain Vigneault and hope to remain one of the tougher teams in the East. In order for the Rangers to have similar success this season, Rick Nash has to play at a higher level and give NY a much needed boost at the offensive end. The addition of Dan Boyle should help the Rangers average power play, but the loss of Brad Richards will be tough to replace considering he was third on the team with 51 points. The addition of Mathew Lombardi was one of the more underrated pick ups in the league this season, as he has a chance to be an immediate contributor for the Rangers. Of course, Henrik Lundqvist returns at goalie after allowing just 2.36 goals last season.
The St. Louis Blues enter the season as a bit of a question mark after coming up short last season in disappointing fashion. The biggest concern for the Blues this season is if a goaltending combination of Brian Elliott and Jake Allen is really going to produce better results than a more accomplished Ryan Miller. One thing the Blues do have going in their favor is the addition of center Paul Stastny, who had 25 goals and 35 assists last season for the Colorado Avalanche. The St. Louis Blues depth at the forward position gives them a huge advantage and makes them one of the better teams on paper in the West. With much of last year’s key players returning, including Alexander Steen and T.J. Oshie, the Blues are once again a team to watch this season as they could accomplish some great things if their goalie situation holds up.
The Rangers are 4-1 in their last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest and 1-5 in their last 6 vs. Western Conference. The Blues are 7-2 in their last 9 games playing on 3 or more days rest and 38-15 in their last 53 home games. The Rangers are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in St. Louis.
The St. Louis Blues have owned the New York Rangers in the past, winning seven of the last eight meetings and the Rangers haven't won in St Louis since 2011. It's opening night, I have to go with the home team here.