Senators vs Blues NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions
Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Ottawa Senators Goalie Cam Talbot
- Ottawa travels to St. Louis to face the Blues as part of the NHL's Martin Luther King Jr. Day slate.
- Both these teams have lost back-to-back game and will be looking to get back in the win column.
- Nicholas Martin previews the game and offers up his best bet below.
Senators vs. Blues Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
A depleted St. Louis side will host Ottawa on Monday as it looks to snap a two-game losing skid and gain some ground in the Western Conference.
Ottawa has been one of the league’s notable disappointments thus far, and enters this matchup with a 19-20-3 record in a season in which it was expected to finally return to playoff contention.
Despite Ottawa’s lowly record, it is priced as only a very slight road underdog.
The Senators were thoroughly outclassed Saturday night by a very ticked off Avalanche team. Ottawa was never really in the contest and ultimately lost 7-0.
Despite Ottawa’s underwhelming record, losing in such uncompetitive fashion has been uncommon for the Senators. The biggest part of the concerns surrounding the Senators have centered on them losing close games and being unable to finish high quality offensive chances.
Ottawa projects to produce offense at an above-average rate this season with several quality scorers, such as Claude Giroux, Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stuetzle and Alex Debrincat, littered throughout its top-six.
However, that hasn’t come to fruition as the Senators have generated the 25th-worst goals for per game average (2.95).
The Senators are generating a ton of quality chances though, and in nine games since the holiday break their 3.55 xGF/60 rating is the seventh-best rate in the league. With some legitimate scorers in the lineup, the Senators are likely going to eventually convert at a higher clip and are currently undervalued in that regard.
Ottawa isn’t doing bad at controlling the opposition’s chances either, and it’s 55.42% expected goals share in those nine matchups is excellent.
There’s more to games than numbers and maybe there is something to the idea that this young Senators team needs to learn how to win. Regardless, it’s still an easy argument to point out that Ottawa is better than it’s record states.
Ottawa’s starting netminder for this contest is unknown, but I’d be expecting Cam Talbot.
Talbot has played to a -0.8 GSAx rating and a .906 save % through 24 appearances.
St. Louis Blues
While Ottawa has mastered losing games it likely should have won this year, the Blues have thrived at stealing wins with much less of the overall run of the play.
Kudos to the Blues veteran roster for that. Finishing off scoring chances is hockey’s toughest skill, but the Blues process has recently crossed over into completely unsustainable territory.
A 44.26% expected goals rating over the past 10 games runs completely in line with visual evaluations of its play.
Injuries to key skaters such as Torey Krug and Vlad Tarasenko are legitimate excuses, but it’s clear the main reason St. Louis is treading water recently is that is has been finishing off chances at an alarmingly high rate.
St. Louis has scored on 12.49% of its shots on goal in the past 10 games, but is actually generating just 2.65 expected goals for per 60. Even while finishing off chances at a notably high rate, the Blues still have just 48.55% of the actual goals during that time.
St. Louis’ shaky defensive play has been compounded by the suspect play of goalie Jordan Binnington, who will likely start Monday.
Binnington has played to a -6.8 GSAx rating and a .891 save % through 33 appearances this season.
Senators vs. Blues Pick
St. Louis has managed a number of relatively unimpressive victories over the past several weeks, which is likely hiding the current shape of its roster to a number of observers.
Ottawa is at the exact opposite end of the spectrum, and appears due for more wins based upon the process of its play.
Many may wonder why St. Louis is only a slight favorite here at home, but it has been abundantly clear in recent games that the Blues haven’t been as good as their recent record.
It makes sense the Senators are only a modest underdog on the road, and I would actually back Ottawa to win down to a price of -115.
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