NHL Hockey Betting: St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild

NHL Hockey Betting:  St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild

The final game before the All Star Break for both teams and it’s an important one as the St. Louis Blues head to the Twin Cities to take on their Central Division rivals the Minnesota Wild. The Wild have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL for the past month or so and enter Thursday’s play on top of the Central Division (and Western Conference) with 67 points, two more than second place Chicago. They’re three up on the best team in the Pacific Division and their closest rivals (San Jose and Anaheim). The enter this contest with a 7-2-1 record in their last ten games. Historically, the Wild have had a reputation as a team that plays well at home but struggles on the road. That’s not the case this season–they’ve got a home record of 16-6-0 but a road record of 15-5-5.

St. Louis is in a pitched battle with Nashville for third and fourth place in the Central. Currently, the Predators are one game up on St. Louis and in better form of late (6-3-1 L10). The Blues are 1 back of Nashville but both teams have some work to do if they’re going to catch up with the division leaders. Nashville is 11 points behind second place Chicago and 13 behind first place Minnesota. The Blues are 12 back of the Blackhawks and 14 back of the Wild. One big problem that St. Louis has had could be an issue here–they’ve struggled on the road with a record of 8-12-1 away from home.

St. Louis looks to be ‘riding the hot hand’ as they’ll start former Nashville Predators’ backup Carter Hutton. Hutton is coming off one of his best performances ever, shutting out the Penguins at Pittsburgh 3-0 on Tuesday. Hutton was a well liked and very capable backup while in Nashville and he could put some pressure on starter Jake Allen if he continues to perform up to his ability. He’ll have to have his ‘A Game’ here as he’ll face Devan Dubnyk, who is one of the frontrunners for the Vezina Trophy. Dubnyk is 26-8-3 with a 1.91 goals against average and a 0.935 save percentage.