Well that was a fun weekend. It was unusually busy on Sunday to wrap up an awesome two days of hockey over the weekend in the NHL and the league will respond on Monday by quieting down with just a two games schedule.
That still means six different betting options including the moneyline, spread and total in both games and that means you need to be sharp and stay focused before you place your bets. As always, we’re here to guide you through each game no matter how many are on the schedule so you can get the most out of your NHL betting experience. Let’s get to it!
SpreadFlorida Panthers at St. Louis Blues
Florida Panthers (+1.5)
St. Louis Blues (-1.5)
Total: 5 (-150o, +120u)
Florida (+110) at St. Louis (-140)
The Panthers may be the biggest surprise in the entire NHL lately. The team always had the talent and depth to make some noise this season but serious injuries to key players derailed their chances all season long. That’s not the case now as the whole team is healthy and firmly in the playoff picture after beating the Kings 3-2. They’re now in the second Wild Card spot after a four-game win streak propelled them past the Bruins and they’ll try to keep the good times rolling when they take on the Blues.
The Panthers are now 27-10-10 on the year and have 64 points in the Eastern Conference and will bring their respectable 13-10-7 road record into St. Louis for a date with the Blues. St. Louis is coming off a tough loss to a suddenly decent Buffalo Sabres team but have still been excellent since their coaching change and now have a 7-3-0 record in their last ten games.
Their strong play of late has catapulted them into the third spot in the Central Division and it looks like they’re getting ready for a deep playoff run. After trade rumors started swirling during their slide before the All-Star break the Blues have responded with strong play under new head coach Mike Yeo and will try to keep it up at home where they’ve been excellent all year.
They play host with a 18-9-4 mark in their own building and an excellent 31-23-5 record overall this season and will be a tough test for the red-hot Panthers.
Florida’s offense has suffered all season long and are now ranked just 23rd in the league averaging 2.58 goals a game but that ranking should climb back up with the way they’ve been playing as of late. During their four-game win streak they’ve racked up 20 goals for a ridiculous average of five a game and look like a much more dominant team with the puck on their stick than they did prior to getting their team healthy again.
Jonathan Huberdeau has been the biggest change for this Florida team. Since making his season debut just over a week ago, the Panthers forward has looked unstoppable despite coming back from a brutal Achilles injury. In just six games this year he already has nine points and has been held off the score sheet just once. He’s coming off scoring a crucial goal against the Kings and now has three in his last four games and four on the season in total.
He’s arguably the Panther’s best player when he’s healthy and his skill and attitude has injected new life into a team that was clawing and scratching their way through the season. If he can stay hot the Panthers can contend with anyone.
The Blues offense has been decent all season long but has run into some inconsistency as of late. In their last five games their goal totals have looked like this: 2,4,2,4,2 and they want nothing more than to turn those twos into fours whenever they can.
St. Louis is still incredibly reliant on Vladimir Tarasenko. Their best offensive weapon has 56 points in 59 games this season and seems to be the measuring stick for whether or not the Blues are going to win. After losing Robby Fabbri to injury for the rest of the season earlier in the month even more of the pressure has fallen on Tarasenko to deliver.
He’s answered the call with three points in his last two games but will need some more support if the Blues plan on turning back into the Stanley Cup contenders everyone thought they were before the season began.
The Panthers are winning a lot, but they’re also giving up a ton of goals. During their four-game win streak they’ve let 12 goals get by them which averages out to three a game. That mark would have them in the bottom five of NHL teams and they’ll need to turn in a much stronger defensive effort against the Blues.
It may be a small sample size but at least it feels like they’re improving on that end of the ice in their last two games, giving up just three goals in total. Aleksander Barkov is back and healthy for the Panthers as well and despite being a forward he offers a lot of help on defense and is currently leading the team in plus minus rating with a +12 mark on the year.
Alex Petrovic has also been a nice surprise for the Panthers on the blue line and is just behind Barkov in plus minis rating with a +11 mark of his own. He has just one goal on the season but his coach won’t complain with the way he’s been able to take on the toughest player each night.
In St. Louis the Blues need to improve on that side of the puck as well. They allow 2.90 goals a game this season which ranks just 21st in the entire NHL and is hardly an example of a team that has aspirations of winning it all.
St. Louis has improved recently however with three shutouts in their last seven games and have given up just nine goals during that span for an average of a little over a goal a game. That is the type of defense fans and bettors alike expect out of this Blues team but it won’t be easy to replicate on Monday against a Panthers team that is scoring at will.
No one player sticks out as having an incredible season from a defensive standpoint on the Blues with their team leader in plus minus only sitting at +7. Skaters like Kevin Shattenkirk and Alex Pietrangelo may be star names and contribute offensively but they’ll need to dig deep and try to help their team come up with more stops down the stretch.
Luckily for the Blues’ defensemen their goalies have been playing well for the first time this season. Jake Allen is expected to get the start against the Panthers after the Sabres scored three times on him in his last outing. He was riding a four game winning streak before that and a shutout so we expect him to bounce back against Florida, but it won’t be easy.
The Panthers counter with Roberto Luongo who has had an up and down season but just came off a huge game against the Kings when he stopped 33 of 25 shots against him to help the Panthers escape with the win. As a veteran he knows how important these games are and will do all he can against the Blues on Monday
Vladimir Tarasenko against Jonathan Huberdeau. Both players are the catalysts to their team’s success lately and both are arguably the most skilled skaters on the ice at any time. They’ll need to dig deep to try and carry their team to a win on Monday
The Panthers run has been awesome to watch, and we fully expect them to keep it up as the season wears on, but losses have to come eventually and trying to beat the St. Louis Blues at home sounds like the right time for it to happen. Take St. Louis on the spread.
Anaheim Ducks (n/a)
Arizona Coyotes (n/a)
Florida (n/a) at St. Louis (n/a)
Normally we would spend more time on the second game, but with the season Arizona is having it hardly makes sense to go into detail about what they can bring to the table. Yes, they’ve enjoyed a bit of success recently and are now 5-4-1 in their last ten games but they still have a record of just 20-30-7 on the season and a goal differential of -44. They are fifteen points out of a playoff spot and have virtually no chance of playing hockey this spring.
They’re still trying to win games though and will give it all they can when the big, bad Ducks come to town. Anaheim has enjoyed another great season with a 30-19-10 record so far but have shown some weaknesses lately including a 4-5-1 record in their last ten games and a loss against the Panthers in their last outing.
The Ducks gave up an uncharacteristic four goals against Florida and will need to tighten up their defense as the stretch towards the postseason begins in earnest. They’re bigger problem may be on offense though. Anaheim has scored just two goals in their last two games and their veterans are starting to look slower than usual when it comes to generating offense.
Ryan Getzlaf has been held off the scoresheet in back to back games. Corey Perry has just one point in his last three contests and Ryan Kesler has just two points in his last five overall. If these three aren’t going to step up and lead by example the Ducks could find themselves in trouble against an Arizona team that has finally got the taste of winning in their mouths.
Max Domi against Cam Fowler. Domi has been held off the score sheet in his last two games but was on fire before that and now has 21 points in 34 games in what has been a frustrating season dealing with injuries for the 21 year old. He’ll be up against Anaheim’s young stud defenseman in Cam Fowler and we can’t wait to see who gets the better of the other.
Arizona has been a nice story over the last week, but they haven’t shown nearly enough all year to be taken seriously. With Anaheim getting decent odds on the spread go with the Ducks and hope the veterans break out of their slumps.
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