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The St. Louis Blues have not looked like defending champions once this entire postseason. That statement includes the round-robin games as well. They’ve looked average at best. Through these past two games with Vancouver as well they’ve been embarrassed off the ice.
Game three will need to be a statement game for St. Louis with a gigantic bounce-back performance from Jordan Binnington who has not looked special whatsoever in this series. The guy everybody heralded last year as the savior of the Blues has not earned his stripes in this playoffs.
With that said, don’t get upset just yet, we’ll give credit where it’s due. Binnington was sensational in last year’s regular-season resurrection and cup run, but this time around he’s almost looked like the team’s achilles heel at times.
We sit back in awe of another huge performance from the Canucks captain. Canucks win 4-3 in overtime to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.
Vancouver Canucks to win (+106)!
With a 4-2 win last game on a 5.5 goal Over-Under, the Canucks have now hit the Over in 13 of their last 17. Meanwhile, St. Louis is 1-6 through their last seven straight up.
|St. Louis Blues vs Vancouver Canucks Game Information|
|What||St. Louis Blues vs Vancouver Canucks|
|Where||Rogers Place, Edmonton, AB|
|When||August 16, 2020, 10:30 PM EST|
|How to watch||NBC Sports, Sportsnet|
Bo Horvat has been the difference and the story of the series through two games. His performance has been nothing short of sensational thus far. After a tremendous inside-outside goal in game one, he bested his performance after pulling the same move on two guys before tucking home one of the nicest of his career yet again.
The Blues will need to shut down the captain but also have all hands on deck in this one. They haven’t been prepared for Quinn Hughes from the point. They haven’t been prepared for Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser’s puck-moving ability and they haven’t been able to solve Jacob Markstrom between the pipes. They’ll need an all-out assault to climb back into this series.
From what we’ve seen thus far, we need to take our expectations down a few notches for this Blues team. Yes, they are the defending Stanley Cup Champions but the five-month break had a different effect on different teams. The Blues seem to still be trying to rebound from the time off.
For St. Louis to get back into this series they’re going to need an all-around performance instead of individuals stepping up. David Perron has been a nice light for them thus far. Mind you, last game he did take a bad penalty that hurt the team. His performance causing havoc in front though also helped tie the game with just seconds remaining sending it to overtime. Ryan O’Reilly also looked like he was regaining his form in game two as well.
The issue is that goaltender Jordan Binnington is still letting in softies. Troy Stetcher caught him from out wide in game one while Bo Horvat’s two goals in game two were nice but were still very stoppable. He needs to step up for this Blues team to have any shot at redemption.
The power play has carried Vancouver through two games going five for nine and absolutely stunning the Blues in the process. However, relying on special teams is a nice complimentary gameplan, but it can’t be plan A. This team needs to fire on all cylinders and get some added production from their bottom two lines.
Admittedly, Brandon Sutter has looked sharp for this team, but outside of him the bottom trios haven’t looked all that enticing thus far. The Canucks goals have come from their stars which of course isn’t a bad thing, but to become serious contenders they’ll need production from throughout.
Nonetheless, this team is but a game away from putting St. Louis on the brink of a sweep. They’re also 9-0 through their last nine against St. Louis in the playoffs straight up. If they can continue their hot play and keep getting their studs quality opportunities, there’s no reason they can’t hit double digits.
Ryan has worked as a sports writer for the past decade and sports journalism for almost 15 years. He has worked in television, radio, print, digital, and podcasting since 2006. He is also the former co-host of the NFL Weekly Pick 'Em and Best Bets Podcast along with the Prop Drop on WSN.com.More info on Ryan Sullivan
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