Preview: Coyotes vs Blues
Date: November 12, 2013 at 8:00 pm est
Phoenix Coyotes vs St. Louis Blues Prediction
The first of three meetings between these two clubs as the Blues swept three games from the Coyotes last season. The Western Conference is so stacked that the Coyotes sit second in the Pacific and the Blues sit third in the Central. Both very good teams this season so far.
For as good as the Coyotes have been playing this season it still surprises that they are not getting any media attention. Maybe it’s their boring stlye of play but this team has what it takes this season to make a deep playoff run when the time comes, if they stay healthy.
The Blues on the otherhand could alos make a very deep playoff run this postseason if they also remain healthy. What’s making St Louis so deadly this season? Balance.
Blue rank fifth in goals per game (3.33) and 6th in goals against average (2.20). But the defense did take a nasty hit as veteran defenseman Jordan Leopold will need surgery to repair ligament damage in his hand. He will be out for at least 8 weeks. Ian Cole will take his place.
In my opinion that’s a BIG loss luckily for St. Louis Jaroslav Halak has been a machine this season. Losing weight in the off-season he has been much more flexible this season.
Leading goal scorer Alexander Steen will look to keep up his fast pace and take over the NHL leading scorer position now that Steven Stamkos is expected to miss at least 4 months due to a torn tibia. They both have 14 goals.
Who’s hot: Mike Smith has won five of his past six starts for the Coyotes and is 9-1-2 over his past dozen decisions.
Steen has 10 goals and three assists during his current point streak. His 21 points leave him two behind Stamkos and Sidney Crosby for the League lead. Halak has won four of his past five starts, allowing two goals or fewer in each victory.
Injury report: Phoenix defenseman Derek Morris (lower body) and forward Radim Vrbata (lower body) are day-to-day. Forward Jeff Halpern (upper body) is on injured reserve.
St. Louis lost Leopold but could get back forward Brenden Morrow (upper body), who skated on the fourth line at practice Monday. Forward Magnus Paajarvi (upper body) is also skating, but not ready to return.
Phoenix Coyotes – Mike Smith (confirmed)
St. Louis Blues – Jaroslav Halak (confirmed)
This is a small pick and it will be documented on our overall NHL record.
I have always kept my eye on the Coyotes and for some reason they continue to win tough games and never get enough love from the media. Maybe that’s a good thing, keep them under the radar so guys like us can make money betting them.
I’m backing the Coyotes tonight as they are a +155 road underdog over the Blues. Expect a strong game from goalie Mike Smith as he leads his team to victory.
Phoenix Coyotes +155 to win $155
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