The 14-5-5 Blues will make the short trip this week to take on the 10-9-3 Nashville Predators on the road. They just played each other in St. Louis for their last game and the Predators came out on top 4-2.
St. Louis Blues
The Blues have been off to a hot start this season after claiming their first Stanley Cup as a franchise last year. They have been dealing with some injuries early this season as they lost star forward Vladimir Teresanko for five months with a shoulder injury.
St. Louis has been averaging 3 goals per game while allowing 2.67. The have had more games than any team reach overtime already this season meaning almost any game they are in can go either way. They are almost dead even with 29.2 shots per game and 30.7 shots against.
Leading the team on offense has been David Perron with 22 points, Braden Schenn with 11 goals, and Ryan O’Reilly with 15 assists. This group effort of guys stepping up has been great for them while trying to fill the skates on their injured players.
A big concern for the Blues in this one is going to be having backup goaltender Jake Allen in net. While he is off to a 3-1-1 start, he has a 3.19 goals-against average and just a .893 save percentage. After giving up four-goal to the Predators in their last game, they will need their defense and Allen to step up and play better in this rematch.
The Predators grabbed a win over the Blues in their last game, snapping a six-game losing streak. They have lost eight out of their last ten games. They would love to use their last win to gain some momentum and push them farther above the .500 mark.
Nashville has averaged 3.55 goals per game this season while allowing 3.36 against. Despite all their losing lately, they have outshot opponents this season on an average of 34-to-28. After winning their last matchup, the Predators are a -145 favorite in this game.
The Nashville Predators are led by Filip Forsberg and Roman Josi in the offensive stat department. Forsberg has 10 goals this season with six assists while Josi leads the team with 15 assists and has seven goals of his own.
Pekka Rinne is the Predators starting goaltender again this season. The veteran goalie is currently carrying a 8-4-2 record with a 3.06 goals against average and a .889 save percentage. He was once at the top of the league for goaltending, but with some ups and downs this season he will have to string together some solid performances to get back to that top tier.
The Predators have gone on a skid over the last ten games, but they do have a roster that fits in with the top of the league. Every team goes through ups and downs during the season so I would not let Nashville’s shaky record scare you away in this game.
What to expect
Although I think the Blues are definitely the better team in this game, the Predators won the last matchup, they are at home this time, the Blues backup goalie is in net, and they just snapped a long losing streak. I would expect Nashville to walk away with another win over the Blues in this one in a close game, possibly another overtime finish.