There is a battle brewing for Monday night as the 7-6-3 Los Angeles Kings take on the 10-6-2 Blues in St. Louis. The Blues lead the Western Division, while the Kings are close behind in fourth.
However, these teams are both trending in completely opposite directions, so here we will help you not get tricked by the line.
If you’re betting online on this NHL contest, the Blues’ moneyline is -190 while the Kings are at +165. The over/under for the game is set at 5½ goals.
Kings Picking Up Steam
The Kings started the season slowly, picking up a few bad losses, but now find themselves making NHL news as they’re on a four-game win streak heading to St. Louis. This puts them in fourth place in the Western Division, five points behind the first-place Blues.
In terms of basic stats, the Kings score 3.13 goals per game, good for 13th in the NHL; and let in 2.94 goals a game, to rank 14th. Los Angeles converts on 24.2% of its power plays while completing 83% of shorthanded periods, good for 11th and 9th in the league, respectively.
On paper, the Kings do not look special, but watching them play recently, one can see that they are just that. They are coming off a quality 4-2 win in Arizona and will look to keep their streak alive in this one.
Lastly, in terms of goalies, though Cal Peterson started against Arizona, expect to see Jonathan Quick in net for Monday.
Los Angeles comes into this game with a 4-4-0 record on the road.
During the recent four-game winning streak, the Kings have outscored their opponents 17-6. Los Angeles will play its third and fourth straight road games in St. Louis before going to Minnesota for a pair to wrap up the month of February.
Blues Need to Get It Together
For the Blues, their season has been basically the exact opposite of the Kings. They started out firing and beating their NHL odds, but they have slowed down greatly since.
St. Louis is now coming off two losses and two overtime wins, so though it converted those overtimes, the team is not where it wants to be. The most recent of these games was a 5-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks.
The Blues have been scoring an 11th-best 3.22 goals per game while letting in three goals a game. However, where it has really been bad for the Blues is in penalty situations.
They only convert on 14% of their power plays, which is 26th in the league, and only survive 74.2%, 24th in the league. That has to change if the Blues want to keep their top spot in the division. Expect to see Jordan Binnington between the pipes on Monday.
St. Louis is also banged up, with numerous offensive-minded forwards out. Vladimir Tarasenko is a guy that has been out all season but has recently started to skate with the team.
Jaden Schwartz is another offensive-minded forward that has missed the last several games, along with Tyler Bozak.
Though you might be tricked by their spot in first place and the -160 moneyline for the Blues, the momentum has just not been with them lately compared to Los Angeles. Some say that a four-game win streak is just luck and that it will end, but the Kings have made it obvious that they don’t need luck.
Their winning has been a trend as of late, and I just don’t see any hope in the Blues to take them. Ride with the Kings and be happy with the plus money.
When doing your NHL betting, take the visiting Kings.