Blues vs. Maple Leafs NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: The Bet To Make Based On Which St. Louis Goalie Plays (February 19)
Joe Puetz/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Binnington.
- Toronto and St. Louis face off for the final time this regular season on Saturday.
- The Maples Leafs enter hot, having won eight of their last 10 games.
- Greg Liodice breaks down if they can build upon that trend, below.
Blues vs. Maple Leafs Odds
|Maple Leafs Odds||-175|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.|
In the Hockey Mecca, the Toronto Maple Leafs host the St. Louis Blues. This will be the final time both teams face off this season. The first time they played, the Leafs won in a 6-5, barn burner in St. Louis. Can the Blues return the favor?
Coming off a disappointing loss in overtime against Montreal, the Blues will look to get back on the horse. St. Louis has gone 6-3-1 in its last 10 games, so it’s still on the right track and probably will come into Toronto with a head full of steam.
Thursday was a wonderful night for the Leafs as they convincingly defeated the Penguins 4-1. Toronto has been absolutely dominant as of late, winning eight out of its last 10 games. It’ll look to continue its hot streak against a deep Blues squad.
A Changing of the Guard for Blues Goaltender
While the Blues aren’t playing their best hockey, they’re still incredibly deep up front. Vladimir Tarasenko is back to his old self, Jordan Kyrou is a star in the making, Pavel Buchnevich was a fantastic pickup and Robert Thomas is a stud playmaker. They seem to be past their injuries, although it’s still uncertain if Scott Perunovich and Marco Scandella will be available.
St. Louis is and always has been one of the league’s premier play drivers. So far, it’s placed eighth in expected goals per 60 with a 2.8 xGF/60, but surprisingly ranks in the bottom three in high-danger chances created. The power play is its bread and butter though, as it is ranked second, scoring 27.7% of the time.
On the defensive end, there are a number of talented d-men but they allow the seventh most high-danger chances, and yet the ninth least amount of goals. They are exceptional on the penalty kill however, with an 84% success rate.
The crease has undergone a major change. Jordan Binnington is no longer the No. 1 after a very poor start to the year 2022. Binnington is now posting an .898 SV% and a bottom-five -10.3 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected). Finnish netminder Ville Husso has now earned the trust of coach Craig Berube with his .937 SV% and +17.3 GSAx in 18 games. I would expect Husso to start but would monitor it before game time.
Strong Maple Leafs Front Line Bolsters Squad
It’s no surprise that Toronto is one of the top teams in the league. The Blues have all the talent in the world, and in a salary cap era, it’s impressive. Sitting at full strength, they’ll be loaded with the usual suspects such as Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and captain John Tavares along with their productive depth.
With the front line bolstered, the Leafs are incredible at generating offense with a sixth-best 2.90 xGF/60. They’re also one of the better teams at creating high-danger chances as well as the No. 1 power play, scoring at a 31.5% clip.
Defensively, they aren’t bad. The Leafs are ranked 12th in high-danger chances and fifth in goals allowed (mostly thanks to Jack Campbell). They’re also superb on the penalty kill as they kill the power play at 83.8%
Jack Campbell has been “the guy” all season long for Toronto. After years of looking for its goalie, Campbell accepted the challenge gladly. His All-Star season includes an incredible .921 SV% and an 8.8 GSAx. Backup Petr Mrazek has been decent, but since he played less than a week ago, I can see Campbell getting the nod tonight.
Blues-Maple Leafs Pick
This is such an interesting game because both teams are nearly identical. Both have exceptional depth on both ends with quality goaltending. Perhaps if Binnington starts, this could be a solid choice to go with the Leafs at -1.5, especially given his struggles and Toronto’s firepower.
Should Husso play I can see some value in taking St. Louis moneyline. The Blues have gotten most of their success due to tremendous goaltending, even if they allow a good amount of high-danger chances. Husso in net amplifies their chance to win.
Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs -1.5 (+140) if Binnington starts / St. Louis Blues +150 if Husso starts