NHL Betting Futures Odds, Blackhawks vs. Blues Betting Picks

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NHL Odds Blackhawks vs. Blues Picks

By Rock Westfall

A do or die month is about to end for the St. Louis Blues.  A three-game losing streak has put The Note one point behind the Colorado Avalanche for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.  The Blues season will end at Colorado on Saturday and their mission is to stay close enough for that game to matter.  For the Chicago Blackhawks it has been a season of implosion.  A concussion to goaltender Corey Crawford served to end their season on December 23.  The Blackhawks lacked the depth of scoring and defense to overcome Crawford’s absence.  The Blues host the Blackhawks on Wednesday.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues
Date and Time: Wednesday, April 4, 2018, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
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Blackhawks vs. Blues TV Coverage: NBCSN “Rivalry Night”

After winning eight out of nine with a gun to their head to climb into playoff position the Blues dropped three straight.  Goal scoring has been a sore spot for the Blues all season but has vanished at the worst possible time.  St. Louis scored just five goals during that three-game losing streak.  All three games still managed to go over the total due to Jake Allen’s subpar goaltending.

Chicago will be hitting the golf links next week after nine straight years in the playoffs.  Chicago has lost seven out of their last nine games with just two out of their last nine games going under the total.

Injury report

For Chicago team captain and center Jonathan Toews is probable with an upper body ailment.  Goaltender Corey Crawford remains out for the season after a concussion.

For St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester remains out with a hip injury.  Players to Watch

St. Louis right winger Vladimir Tarasenko looms large for this one as one of the few goal scoring threats the Blues have.  The Russian sniper leads The Note with 32 goals on the season.  Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is having his best season with 15 goals and 38 assists.

Goalie Report

Jake Allen was celebrated as the goalie of the future for the Blues when he arrived four years ago.  Instead he has been wildly inconsistent with a .907 save percentage and a 2.72 goals against average.  Backup Carter Hutton has a .930 save percentage but choked down the stretch at the worst possible time with a save percentage of .883 in his last five starts.

Anton Forsberg has gotten most of the starts for Chicago in the absence of Corey Crawford.  Forsberg has a save percentage of .908 with a 2.97 goals against average.  JF Berube has a save percentage of .891 with a 3.93 goals against average in 11 starts.  Collin Delia has a save percentage of .889 with two starts recently.

Special Teams

The Blues power play has been abysmal this year with a ranking of 30th in the NHL.  Their penalty killing ranks a mediocre 17th in the NHL.  If the Blues fail to make the playoffs special teams would be as big of a culprit as any.

Chicago has also struggled on the power play with a NHL ranking of 29th.  Their penalty killing has been a subpar 20th in the league.

Key Stats

St. Louis is 43-30-6 with a home record of 24-16-0.  The Blues have gone under the total in 25 of their 40 home games.  The Blues rank 24th in the NHL for goal scoring but rank seventh in the NHL for goals against.

Chicago is 32-37-8-2 with a road record of just 14-20-4-1.  The Blackhawks have gone under the total in just 15 out of 39 away games.  Chicago ranks 19th in the NHL for goal scoring and 23rd for goals against.

The Blackhawks have lost their last two visits to St. Louis.  The last three meetings between these teams at Scottrade Center have failed to stay under the total.

Hockey Betting Picks

Blackhawks vs. Blues Free Picks

This is the regular season home finale for the Blues.  It may also be the last home game period.  Failure is not an option.  The Blues must win to stay alive for the playoffs.

Blackhawks vs. Blues Pick: Bet the St. Louis Blues money line
Blackhawks vs. Blues Score Prediction: Blues 3, Blackhawks 1

Hockey Prediction, Flames at Bruins Betting Lines

NHL Betting Odds

Flames at Bruins Picks

By Jonathan Willis

The Calgary Flames have performed well on their road trip so far, and they are looking to keep it going when they take on the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night. Calgary has won three of its first four during this six-game road trip, and the Flames have covered the spread in each as all games were decided by one goal. The Flames are currently tied with Minnesota for the seventh spot in the Western Conference, and they need to keep winning to feel confident about making the postseason.

Calgary Flames at Boston Bruins
Date and Time: Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 7 p.m. ET
Location: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
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Flames at Bruins TV Coverage: NBCSN

For whatever reason, Calgary has been much better on the road than it has been at home this season. The Flames have been one of the best road teams in the NHL, with a 16-6-5 record away from Calgary. They are making up for a six-game losing streak a little bit ago with this performance.

Under has been a good bet in Calgary’s road games this season. The under is 16-11 overall in their road games.

Boston continues to perform well and has nearly caught Tampa Bay for the top spot in the East at this point. The Bruins are just three points back with a game in hand, and they have been on fire lately. Boston is 8-2 in its last 10 games.

The under has been the right play in Bruins games too this season. Under is 17-12 when Boston is playing in TD Garden.

Injuries to Watch

The only player listed on the injury report for Calgary is Kris Versteeg. Versteeg has been out since the end of November with a lower-body injury but has started skating again. He is still a long way away from returning though.

Both Anders Bjork and Kevan Miller are considered day-to-day with upper-body injuries and may or may not be able to play for this one. They have both been out for a little bit of time, but they should be back relatively soon.

Player to Watch

Although Connor McDavid gets a lot of attention, Johnny Gaudreau is showing that there is another forward in Alberta that can put up amazing numbers. Gaudreau is having a banner year and looks set to crush his career-high in points. With just 14 more points over his last 26 games, he’ll get there.

Gaudreau has been something else in recent weeks. He has scored a point in six straight games and has three goals and six assists overall during that timeframe. Very few teams have been able to shut him out all year as he flusters opponents with his speed.

He may be undersized at 5’9 and 157 pounds, but there’s no denying the impact he has. He can maneuver around bigger defenders and find passing lanes that others can’t with his quickness.

Key Stat

Boston is the best team in the NHL at keeping opponents from scoring. The Bruins are allowing just 2.4 goals per game, and that has made Tuukka Rask a serious contender for another Vezina Trophy. It’s been a banner year for Rask after a slow start, but the defenders are top notch as well and the forwards backcheck and block shots as well as any team.

In fact, it’s such a team effort that they are superb on the penalty kill too. Boston is allowing teams to convert less than 17 percent of their power play chances, placing them fourth in the league.

Flames at Bruins Free Picks

The Flames do have some trouble scoring outside of their first line. While Gaudreau is among the league leaders in points, only one other player has cracked 40 points this season. That means teams with good defensemen can focus on shutting down the top line and making the second and third lines beat them.

For that reason, Boston is going to get the win. The Bruins will keep Gaudreau’s line in check and find the back of the net a few times in a comfortable victory.

Flames at Bruins Pick: Bet on the Bruins to ice the Flames
Flames at Bruins Score Prediction: Bruins4 – Flames 1