The Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues are division rivals, even more so this year due to their closeness in the standings. St. Louis is just one point behind Minnesota for second place in the Central division, but the Wild have played one less game. This one is really important to both teams for their playoff standings, although they may end up facing off again in the first round of the playoffs.
The only time these two teams have met so far this season was in the 2022 Winter Classic. The game was held at Target Field in Minnesota, home of the Twins, and the Blues won 6-4 in the coldest game in NHL history.
The game on friday will be held in St. Louis indoors this time, so fans and players alike don’t need to worry about the temperature.
As of right now the Blues and Wild are set to face off in the playoffs. They are the second and third place teams in the Central division and will play each other in the first round unless Nashville has an unreal end to their season.
Both teams are hot heading into this game with the Wild carrying a very impressive 8-1-1 record in their last ten games. St. Louis is 6-3-1 in their last ten, and have been struggling with a few injuries as well.
When comparing these teams they match up fairly well. Both have solid goaltending right now, both teams are offensively focused, and they both have scored 254 goals so far this season. I’m excited for this matchup friday night as well as their playoff series that is almost certain to happen.
Minnesota building towards playoff run
Before the trade deadline arrived, Minnesota made sure to address their goaltending issue. Now they’ve fixed it with some guy named Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury is a multiple time stanley cup champion and gives the Wild experience and talent in net.
Kirill Kaprizov is having a phenomenal season for the wild, leading the team in goals (40) and points (87). Mats Zuccarello also is putting down a personal best season, already topping his previous career highs in points and assists.
The Wild aren’t just relying on two guys for all their points though. Six different players have 20+ goals on the Wild this season and eight different players have at least 30 points this season, the same number as the Colorado Avalanche.
The Wild are playing some of their best hockey of the year right now and need to carry this momentum into the postseason. This game against St. Louis will be a good test to see if Minnesota is ready for playoff contention.
Win By Committee in St. Louis
The St. Louis Blues are long removed from the days of TJ Oshie and David Backes. The Blues had only one All-star this year in Jordan Kyrou, and don’t have any players with more than 70 points this season. That being said, they do have 11 players with 30+ points, more than the Wild or the Avalanche.
St. Louis wins games because of depth and hard work. They’re not the most skilled team in the league but they work hard and don’t give up. Coach Craig Berube is a hard nosed guy who pushes his team to the max.
Jordan Kyrou is having a solid season, but slowed down since the all star break. That being said, the Blues are still one point behind Minnesota for second place in the division, and winning this game can help determine who has home ice advantage if they end up playing each other in the first round.
The line for this game has been released, and it’s pretty much even. The Blues right now are slight favorites at -115 and the Wild come back at -105. I like the Blues at home coming off a 4-1 win against the Kraken. I think Minnesota is the better team, but they struggled against the Predators on Wednesday and I’m just not seeing them winning this game.
The over/under is at 6, and I like the over in this game. Both teams have decent goaltending but nothing incredible, and we might be seeing backup goalies in this game due to rest. I’m taking the Blues moneyline as well as Over 6 goals.
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