Detroit enters dicey matchup vs. St. Louis

Detroit enters dicey matchup vs. St. Louis

The Blues are familiar with facing peril in 2016-17. Fortunately, they’re nowhere close to Detroit’s dire straits.

St. Louis’ former Central Division archnemesis will desperately try to keep its dim Eastern Conference playoff hopes for spiraling more out of control tonight, with an 8 p.m. ET puck drop vs. Mike Yeo’s troops. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the Red Wings odds of -115 to take care of business at home. The Red Wings, on the other hand, represent +105 underdogs.

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After an ugly January, the Blues appear to be trending in the right direction. Winners of four straight, they’re responding nicely with Yeo calling the shots. The ex-Minnesota bench boss replaced Ken Hitchcock on Jan. 30, and the organization has racked up a 5-1 record since then.

Starkly improved goaltending is perhaps the biggest reason for St. Louis’ recent surge. Conversely, Jeff Blashill’s receiving precious little of that in the Motor City. Peter Mrazek & Co.’s recent over the past 11 contests: a lowly 2-5-4.

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Under Yeo, the Blues continue to place a greater emphasis on utilizing team speed to create considerable offensive-zone chances. Considering Detroit’s not especially well-equipped to handle an opponent with four quality lines at the moment, we see no reason to shy away from the visitors here. Let the markers pile up at Joe Louis Arena.

WEDNESDAY NHL FREE PICK: BLUES/RED WINGS OVER 5.5 GOALS

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