NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Blues vs. Avalanche (November 14)
Joe Puetz/Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Binnington
Blues vs. Avalanche Odds
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
With a nightmarish eight-game losing streak finally in the rearview mirror, the St. Louis Blues will be looking for their third-straight win as they visit the Mile High City to take on the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night.
With a 5-8-0 record for the year, the streaky Blues sit last in the Central Division while he defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche are challenging for top spot at 8-4-1. Colorado is riding its own four-game winning streak and preparing to close out out a three-game homestand.
Here’s the latest on both teams, and your best bet for the game.
St. Louis Blues
After putting up 109 points last season, the St. Louis Blues looked poised to be one of the top contenders in the Central Division again this year when they came out of the gate with three impressive wins.
Then came more than two weeks of losses — a streak that was finally snapped with a 5-3 win over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday. On Saturday, the Blues followed that up by opening their road trip with a 3-2 victory in Las Vegas, handing the Golden Knights just their third loss of the year.
If you look St. Louis’ full-season statistical profile, it doesn’t provide much helpful advice on which version of the team will come to play Monday. The Blues sit last in the league in scoring, averaging just 2.39 goals per game. They’re also 29th out of 32 in both goals against per game and penalty killing. But, as they showed on Saturday, they can beat any team in the league when they’re at their best.
During the losing streak, St. Louis was dealing with injuries to forwards Pavel Buchnevich and Brandon Saad. Both are now back in the lineup and have been chipping in points over the past two games. Injured defensemen Marco Scandella and Scott Perunovich remain on the sidelines.
Like the rest of his team, starting goaltender Jordan Binnington has also been on a rollercoaster this season, though he has been good in the past two games, with a 2.50 goals-against average and .924 save percentage.
As of Sunday evening, Binnington hasn’t officially been confirmed as the starter, but he has played 10 of the Blues’ 13 games this season. It’s likely coach Craig Berube won’t turn to backup Thomas Greiss again until his team’s back-to-back games later in the week.
After seizing the spotlight with their Stanley Cup win last spring, the Colorado Avalanche have mostly been quietly going about their business so far this year. Their trip to Finland for the NHL Global Series earlier this month seems to have invigorated them. Since winning both their games against the Columbus Blue Jackets over in Tampere, they’ve taken down the Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes.
Salary-cap considerations forced the Avalanche to make some changes to their championship lineup during the offseason, most notably in net. So far, new starter Alexandar Georgiev has fit in well. He has a 7-1-1 record, a .924 save percentage and a solid 5.4 goals saved above expected. Backup Pavel Francouz has decent counting stats, but his record is 1-3-0.
Again, no goaltending announcement has been made as of Sunday, but the Avalanche are also enjoying a nicely spaced-out schedule. That should allow Georgiev to make his 10th start of the year.
In front of their netminder, the Avalanche remain a high-scoring team with a lethal power play. Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon are leading the way with 23 points each, and Cale Makar is not far behind with 16.
And the Avalanche are winning games despite some significant absences on their roster. Up front, they’re missing captain Gabriel Landeskog, playoff scoring star Valeri Nichushkin, rookie Shane Bowers and depth forward Darren Helm. Bowen Byram and Sam Girard are out of action on defense.
Blues vs. Avalanche Pick
Though the Avalanche have the better record and their -200 moneyline suggests their odds of winning are better than 67%, Monday’s result may not turn out to be quite so clear.
Colorado’s many injuries have put the team in a tough spot and it’s interesting to note its 5-on-5 expected goals share this season actually ranks below the Blues. The Avalanche sit 22nd overall, at 47.46%, while St. Louis lands 20th at 48.37%.
St. Louis may also be on a bit of a mission. After all, their 2021-22 season ended at the hands of Colorado in the second round of last year’s playoffs.
The Blues were never as bad as that eight-game losing streak suggested. Monday may offer an enticing opportunity for bettors as the Blues continue to regress toward a more appropriate place in the standings.
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