Thursday’s NHL bet du jour: St. Louis at Edmonton
Corey Crawford continued his winning ways both at home and in games after being pulled, but that was more about the Blackhawks offense exploding over the final 21 minutes.
Moving on to Thursday…
The Edmonton Oilers (7-9-2) welcome the top team in the Western Conference as the St. Louis Blues (13-5-1) look to end a two-game slide which saw them lose by three goals apiece in each. While the Blues should be motivated to bounce back, they might not be able to match Edmonton’s hunger for a big win. This is a very important game for the Oilers to make up some ground in the West, as their next five will all come on the road.
As it stands, Edmonton sports the second-best xGF/60 (2.79) at 5-on-5, and while the Blues do have one of the better defenses in the National Hockey League, Connor McDavid is as good as it gets. Moreover, Edmonton will be riding a wave of confidence after smashing the Golden Knights 8-2 last time out, and in general, they have a lot of positives to take from their recent play.
In six career starts against Edmonton, Jake Allen has gone just 2-4 with a 3.12 GAA and miserable .847 SV%. Guarding the other crease will be Cam Talbot, who has struggled on home ice this season but sparkled there last season, going 23-12-3 with a 2.32 GAA and .923 SV%. Additionally,Talbot tamed the Blues to the tune of just four goals (3-0, 1.31 GAA, .955 SV%) in three starts against them last season.
It seems strange to call this game a must-win, but for Edmonton, it really is given that they have another tough stretch of games coming up. They are also catching the Blues at the right time, as St. Louis has hit a rough patch. Edmonton is a deserved favorite tonight.
Fair odds: Oilers -130
Others on the ice for Thursday:
Always hate to fade Tampa, but this is a good spot to catch them coming back home after a dominant West Coast swing. It is three games in four days for Dallas, but they were already in Florida. Ben Bishop should be extra motivated to shut down his old team. Worth a shot at this price on Dallas, who should be hungry to get a win to end their current three-game road trip.
YTD: 19-14-1 +4.05 units