NHL Betting: Blues will extinguish Flames

Calgary - St Louis

All but two of the NHL's members are hitting the ice tonight and as we approach the halfway point of the regular season plenty of clubs will feel they are reaching a critical juncture.

Two more crushing victories for the St Louis Blues in the past five days have given them a league best goal difference and I wouldn't go against them improving it further versus the Calgary Flames.

From their level of performance rather than results perspective, the Flames' latest run of four games without a win hasn't been a disaster for coach Bob Hartley, all of those losses came out on the road and went down to the final moments of regulation or into overtime. 

As if St Louis didn't need any more offensive help now even their third line is rolling teams over. Right wing Chris Stewart is red hot after a hat-trick over the weekend and that's also elicited a spark from Derek Roy too. 

Against the lower sides in the standings the Blues really have flexed their guns and I feel this Calgary team are on their way to something similar. Back St Louis to make it clear over a -1.5 handicap.

San Jose - Colorado

If you stay through right until the end of this veritable hockey feast you'll get what is perhaps the game of the day in San Jose, with the Sharks hosting the Colorado Avalanche out on the West Coast. 

Whilst they remain as ruthless in their own tank as ever, San Jose have spent most of the month out on the road and have lost significant momentum with only three wins from nine in total. 

Although the Avalanche know full well how difficult it is to take an away win in this building they showed that required fight in coming back from a two goal deficit in LA last time out and still boast one of the better road records. 

Their goaltending has rightly received high praise but their top defensive duo of Erik Johnson and Jan Hejda have also been excellent. They've been playing over 22 minutes on average, with the second best combined plus rating of all pairs in the league. 

In the last month neither of these two have won back to back but I think that's a strong testament to their ability to get through a bad patch without taking too much damage. More alarming for San Jose will be the fact that their divisional rivals can't stop winning. 

A win for Colorado tonight takes them back level with the Sharks so being out at 3.70 looks a little harsh on them. That said I like the chances of a regulation tie at 4.00 even better.

Best Bet

St Louis Blues to win with -1.5 goal handicap at 2.65

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