St. Louis Blues (27-22-5) at Toronto Maple Leafs (25-17-10)
|Date & Time||Thursday February 9, 2017, 7:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Toronto Maple Leafs -126 / St. Louis Blues +114 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The St. Louis Blues look to generate some consistency and strong some victories together as they head into the Air Canada Centre to face off with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Blues have had mixed results since relieving Ken Hitchcock of his coaching duties but they have been better in the defensive zone and got a big effort out of Carter Hutton in Philadelphia and they will look for another strong effort against the Leafs on Thursday. St. Louis has played well when in the middle of a 3-4 set as they are 19-7 in their last 26 games in that situation but with a paltry 2-11 mark in their last 13 games following a win they aren’t doing themselves any favours as they can’t seem to follow up one strong effort with another and it could end up being their demise when it comes to the Western Conference playoff picture. Jake Allen is expected to get the nod in the St. Louis crease as he will face off against Frederik Andersen who is back in goal after watching Curtis McIlhenny get the win in their last outing.
The Leafs look for another home win after outlasting the Dallas Stars in their last game and will need their starting goaltender in Andersen to get out of his post all star break funk as he hasn’t been the same player that led the Buds to a strong showing in the team’s first half of the season. Toronto hasn’t been able to generate a ton of success against the Central division this season as they are 3-11 in their last 14 games and while the Central possesses some of the league’s top teams the Leafs know they need to find ways to beat the game’s top groups if they’re going to qualify for the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The Blues are 5-2 in their last seven road games and 1-5 in their last six Thursday games while the Leafs are 4-9 in their last 13 against the Western Conference and 8-3 in their last 11 when allowing two or fewer goals in their previous game. The Blues are playing better but they haven’t shown they can string wins together and with Toronto getting one back last time out I think they get another in this spot.