St. Louis Blues @ Detroit Red Wings Free NHL Pick 12/27/11
Division rivals duke it out at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday night for NHL betting action for the first of two meetings between now and the end of the calendar year between the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues.
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The Blues are playing a lot better hockey right now than anyone is giving them credit for, and they are a point up on the Wings as we head into this crucial stretch of games as we close out 2011. Bringing all of the youngsters together has really paid off, as last year’s deal which brought Chris Stewart to town has paid dividends. Now, names like TJ Oshie, Alexander Steen, David Backes, and that of Stewart are hopefully going to be the cores of this team for quite some time. Adding Jason Arnott, though not the player that he was even a few years ago, was still a great move for a franchise that was badly needing some veteran leadership. What has also helped is the resurgence of Brian Elliott in net. Elliott has a whopping 14 wins in 18 appearances, and he has a 1.55 GAA. Last year, he was largely considered one of the worst net minders in the game. Now, he has to be considered an early candidate for the Vezina Trophy.
Reality might be starting to sink in with the Red Wings. They had a nice run of a decade or so with this general crop of players, but now, team like the Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks that have been working on their cores for a few years now, are catching up and passing them. Back to back losses on back to back nights against the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames before the holidays were not fun, and now between now and January 3rd, the team has a brutal travel schedule, including games at the Nashville Predators, home against St. Louis, at the Blackhawks, home against St. Louis again, and at the Dallas Stars. This is a brutal run of games for a team that is aging, especially when you consider the fact that all of these teams are going to be postseason contenders in the stout Western Conference. The good news though, is that Detroit is a heck of a lot better team at Joe Louis Arena this year (13-2-1) than it is on the road (8-10-0).
St. Louis Blues @ Detroit Red Wings Pick: We tend to think that the Blues are going to at least get one of these two games. That being said, we are going to take the odds that are inevitably going to be on our side. Anything better than about +110 is a steal on what really is the better of these two teams.
Free Hockey Pick: St. Louis Blues
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