Date/Time: April 7th, 12:30 PM ET
Moneyline: Red Wings -116
A pair of Central Division foes that are trying to get into the playoffs in the Western Conference are going to be going at it on Sunday afternoon in the NHL betting game of the week. The Detroit Red Wings will fight it out with the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena.
The Blues made it to the playoffs last year and had a nice run in the postseason thanks to their defense and their goaltending. G Jaroslav Halak was at the center of that, and G Brian Elliott did a really nice job as well. Halak only has six wins on the season, and though he has a 2.14 GAA, he is out of the fold until at least the end of the month. Elliott meanwhile, has been a huge disappointment this season, posting a 3.43 GAA with only five wins. St. Louis is allowing 2.7 goals per game this year as a result in spite of the fact that it is allowing just 24.5 shots per game, second in the league. Head Coach Ken Hitchcock thought that this team needed a heck of a lot more oomph at the back, and at the trade deadline, the team traded for D Jordan Leopold and D Jay Bouwmeester. In the last three games, the Blues have responded, allowing a total of just five goals in those efforts.
Detroit is still trying to get to 20 wins on the season, and this would be the game that would get the job done. The Red Wings are underachieving this year for sure, and they need to be really careful not to fall asleep at the wheel. If they do, they’ll end up missing out on the playoffs for the first time in eons. C Pavel Datsyuk has scored 13 goals this season, and he had the game-winning score in the game against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night. Datsyuk now has 38 points on the season, and he is a +14, leading the team in points and tied for leading the team in plus/minus. G Jimmy Howard has underachieved just a bit. He is 16-11-4 on the season with a 2.45 GAA and a .916 save percentage. The numbers aren’t all that bad, but this is a goalie that is used to posting GAAs in the 2.25ish range. He’ll need to improve over the course of the end of the season to make sure that Motown is going to be in the second season.
The road team has actually won two straight games in this series, but the last time these two teams met was back in the middle of February. In that game, there were only a total of 43 shots on goal between the two teams. We think that this is going to be a very similar outing with the new-look defense of the Blues, and this one will struggle to get to five goals.
St. Louis Blues @ Detroit Red Wings Pick: Under 5
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.