STRIKE POINT SPORTS
7-Unit Play. Take #61 St. Louis (+110)
(10:05) p.m., Friday, Jan. 8)
The Blues have now lost 4 straight games and history has shown that a visit to Anaheim isn’t the ideal medicine for them to get back on track. St. Louis has dropped 9 straight in Anaheim and have only won 2 in their last 22 games at the Honda Center. If the Blues were to lose tonight it would be their longest losing streak in nearly two years. But this isn’t the same Ducks team that we have seen over the last couple years either. Anaheim has struggled mightily trying to find ways to score this season. They are ranked 30th in goals per game only averaging 1.8. The Blues on the other hand average right around 2.5 per game and in my opinion have had some bad luck the past couple games. St. Louis is coming off back to back games in which they blew big leads and should have won easily. They allowed 3 unanswered goals in a 3-2 overtime loss to Ottawa on Monday then wasted a 2 goal lead against Colorado which also went into overtime on Wednesday. The Blues have outshot their opponents 150-127 during the 4 game slide and have been uncharacteristically giving up too many goals in the later periods. With Anaheim inability to score and the Blues due for a breakout game look for St. Louis to upset the Ducks tonight.
4-Unit Play. Take #60 Colorado (+110)
(7:05) p.m., Friday, Jan. 8)
Although I do believe that Ryan Johansen is a great pick up for Nashville I don’t think he will be a factor tonight. The Av’s still have the stronger team on offense and are playing at a much higher level now than they were in the beginning of the season. The team is 3-2 in their last 5 games only losing to the Flames and Blackhawks. Colorado beat the Blues, Kings and Sharks over the stretch and have had a brutal schedule. Any team in this league would lose at least two (or more) of these games if given the same scenario. The Av’s understand that they are 2 points behind Nashville in the standings and I like the way Varlamov is stepping up in between the pipes. The Av’s already beat the Predators in Nashville this season where they won 3-2. Colorado is 5-1 in their last 6 against the Central division and the home team is 4-1 in the last 5. Look for the Av’s to win tonight in Colorado.
2-Unit Play. Take #54 Carolina (-140)
(7:05) p.m., Friday, Jan. 8)
The Hurricanes record over the last ten games is at a dismal 4-4-2 but I like what they have been doing on the ice over the stretch. The Canes have addressed their defensive issues and are holding teams to 1.8 goals per game right now. During these ten games they have only lost to one team by more than 1 goal which happen to be the first game of the ten on Dec. 18th against the Panthers. Over their last 7 games they have beaten NJ, Chicago and Washington, lost in OT twice and only have 2 regular game losses. The Blue Jackets just got rid of Ryan Johansen who has been one of the only consistent pieces they have had over the course of the NHL season. In the Blue Jackets last 6 games they have given up 24 total goals and are 3-7 on the road in their last ten games. Carolina is playing better right now and has the stronger squad. Look for the Canes to win at home tonight.