Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Minnesota Wild will take on the St. Louis Blues for the third time this season. The Blues beat the Wild 4-3 last time they played. Center Robert Thomas pushed the Blues to the win with an overtime goal with 1:27 left.
Both of these teams have 98 points, so this game is very important. If the Blues win, they will overtake the Wild and move to second place in the Central Division, but if the Wild win, they will maintain control of the division.
The Minnesota Wild have been one of the best NHL teams for the last month. Even though they were out of the playoff picture for a good chunk of the season, they are now comfortably in a playoff spot. Since March 16, they have only lost one game in regulation.
The Wild are led by wingers Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello and defenseman Alex Goligoski. Kaprizov has become the star on this team and has 91 points, Zuccarello is a veteran with 50 assists and 72 points, and Goligoski is an efficient defenseman with a +/- of 40.
Even though the Wild have been winning, they do not have a great goaltender in Cam Talbot. Talbot is mediocre and gives up almost 2.8 goals per game.
The St. Louis Blues are the hottest team of April. They have won their last seven games and lost their last game on April 1.
The Blues are led by Vladimir Tarasenko, Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas, and Justin Faulk. Tarasenko is a crafty veteran winger who can score and pass (he has 31 goals and 41 assists). Kyrou is a young center with 42 assists. He is a rising star in this league, but he is not the only good center on this team. He is joined by Robert Thomas; Thomas has an impressive 53 assists and plays almost 19 minutes a game. As good as Tarasenko, Kyrou, and Thomas are, I would be remiss if I did not mention Justin Faulk. Faulk is the most efficient defenseman for St. Louis; he plays over 23 minutes a game and has a +/- of 38.
St. Louis’ success is very much in part to goaltender Ville Husso. Husso started the season as the backup goaltender. However, after original starter Jordan Binnington struggled, Husso was named the starter and stepped up. He has been very impressive and instrumental in the recent success of the Blues.
The Blues are the hotter team and playing at home, so they will win.
St. Louis beats Minnesota 5-3. Blues cover, Over 6 goals.
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|Minnesota Wild||Head-to-Head||St. Louis Blues|
|Dean Evason||Head Coach||Craig Berube|
|46-21-6 (2nd in Central Divison)||Standing||43-20-10 (3rd in Central Division)|
|Kirill Kaprizov (91)||Points||Vladimir Tarasenko (67)|
|Kirill Kaprizov (42)||Goals||Vladimir Tarasenko (28)|
|Mats Zuccarello (50)||Assists||Robert Thomas (48)|
|Alex Goligoski (40)||+/-||Justin Faulk (36)|
|Kirill Kaprizov (3.58)||Shots (Per Game)||Vladimir Tarasenko (3.21)|
The Wild have been playing well but are facing an even better Blues team. The Wild need to get second-chance shots and ride the hot hand.
The Wild will likely face Ville Husso in goal for the Blues. Husso did not play last game, so he should play tonight. Husso has been of the NHL’s best goalies for the last two months. Since he is so impressive, the Wild have to get second chances and give themselves a lot of chances near the net.
The Wild have a lot of solid players, but you never know who will have the hot hand. In the Wild’s last game against the Dallas Stars, Kevin Fiala had the hot hand and finished with two goals and one assist. The Wild have to let the hot players take shots and give him the freedom to play his game.
The St. Louis Blues are the favorite because of their seven-game winning streak. They will still have a tough matchup in the Wild and have to focus on drawing penalties and playing strong defense.
The Blues have the second-best power-play unit in the league and convert on almost 26% of their power-plays. They need to draw power-plays and give themselves opportunities with a man advantage.
The Blues are playing a Wild squad that score over 3.6 goals a game. The Wild know how to score and shoot over 32 times a game. The Blues’ defensemen have to step up and make life difficult for the Wild’s centers and wingers.
Winger Kevin Fiala is one of the Wild’s better passers and scores. He showed that in the Wild’s last game when he had two goals and one assist.
Fiala has momentum from last game and could be due for another big one today. The Blues’ defensemen have to prioritize Fiala more than usual and force him to give the puck up.
Winger Vladimir Tarasenko is having another impressive season. He has 31 goals and 41 assists through 67 games.
Tarasenko had a hat trick in the Blues’ last game against the Buffalo Sabres. Tarasenko is red hot and can do it all.
Defensively, the Wild defensemen have to force him to take bad shots. Tarasenko is a dangerous player when left alone and will make opposing teams pay.
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|Minnesota Wild vs St. Louis Blues Information|
|What||Minnesota Wild vs St. Louis Blues|
|Where||Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Missouri|
|When||Saturday, April 16, 3:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||ESPN+|
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Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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