Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
|St. Louis Blues||-1.5
|O 5.5 (-115)
|New York Rangers||+1.5
|U 5.5 (-105)
The St. Louis Blues will face the New York Rangers for the first time this season.
The Blues are sitting comfortably in the 2nd-place spot in the Central Division, while the Rangers are sitting comfortably in the third-place spot in the Metropolitan Division. The Blues have one less point than the Rangers, but the Rangers are playing worse hockey right now. The Rangers have lost their last two games by a combined score of 6-2, while the Blues have won their previous four games by a combined score of 19-7.
The St. Louis Blues have only lost four games since the NHL returned from postponement. They have a high-powered offense that scores almost 3.6 goals per game. Much of their scoring comes from Jordan Kyrou, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Pavel Buchnevich. Those three players have combined for 59 goals. In addition to those three, Brandon Saad, Brayden Schenn, and Ivan Barbashev have 49 combined goals. As good as those players are, the main reason the Blues have been so good lately is because they changed goaltenders. The Blues started the season with Jordan Binnington as the starter, but he was relegated to the backup role after some questionable play. Ville Husso is now the starter and thriving in that role. He has 13 wins in 18 starts.
The New York Rangers have played well throughout the season but have been mediocre lately. In the last two games, they have not been able to get their offense going and have only scored two goals. I would not get too worried; there is still some season left. Much of the Rangers’ success is due to goaltender Igor Shesterkin. Shesterkin is one of the NHL’s best, gives up 1.95 goals per game, and has the top save percentage of .941. Outside of Shesterkin, the Rangers have a great defense led by Adam Fox. Even though the Rangers are playing at home, I am picking the Blues to win. They have a lot of momentum and are the better team at the moment.
St. Louis Blues beat New York Rangers 3-2. New York Rangers cover, Under 5.5 goals.
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|St. Louis Blues||Head-to-Head||New York Rangers|
|Craig Berube||Head Coach||Gerald Gallant|
|32-14-6 (2nd in Central Division)||Standing||33-15-5 (3rd in Metropolitan Division)|
|Jordan Kyrou (49)||Points||Artemi Panarin (56)|
|Jordan Kyrou (21)||Goals||Chris Kreider (34)|
|Robert Thomas (34)||Assists||Adam Fox (43)|
|Justin Faulk (36)||+/-||Ryan Lindgren (18)|
|Vladimir Tarasenko (3.13)||Shots (Per Game)||Chris Kreider (3.32)|
The Blues are the better team, but the Rangers can give them a run for their money. The Blues need to focus on riding the hot hand and taking a lot of shots.
The Blues won their last game against the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0. They had an unlikely hero in that game: David Perron. Perron must have felt hot that game because he took eight shots and had two goals. Perron will not likely have another big game, but someone else might. The Blues need to let whoever is feeling hot, be hot. It is as simple as that.
This second piece of advice is pretty simple. The Blues need to shoot a lot. They will probably face Igor Shesterkin and need to overwhelm him with shots.
The Rangers are the underdogs but can pull out a win with some help from the home crowd.
The Rangers need to limit the Blues’ shot and avoid penalties.
The Blues do not shoot a lot, but they shoot more than the Rangers. Since that is the case, the Rangers defense needs to limit their shots to give themselves a better chance.
The Blues have the second-best power-play unit in the NHL. They convert almost 27% of their power-plays. The Rangers have to play smart hockey and avoid penalizing themselves. They will limit a lot of Blues scoring chances that way.
This is an unlikely pick. Defenseman Justin Faulk is not a star on this Blues team, but he does make a positive impact.
Faulk’s stats are nothing special. He only has seven goals and 20 assists but leads the Blues with a +/- of 36. He simply makes his team better. Faulk also plays almost 23 minutes a game.
Defensively, the Rangers do not have to worry about Faulk too much. He rarely scores and is not a great passer. Faulk just has a positive team impact.
For the second year in a row, defenseman Adam Fox is having another impressive season. He has seven goals and 43 assists and leads the Rangers in TOI at 24:26.
Fox is one of the top defensemen in the NHL and a gifted passer. His 43 assists are fifth-most in the league. Fox is especially dominant on the power-play. He has 22 power-play assists, tied for first in the NHL.
The Blues do not have to worry about Fox scoring. However, he makes the right passes, so the Blues have to cut off his passing lanes. They should be especially wary of him on the power-play.
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|St. Louis Blues vs New York Rangers Information|
|What||St. Louis Blues vs New York Rangers|
|Where||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York|
|When||Wednesday, March 2, 7:30 PM EST|
|How to Watch||TNT|
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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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