Evenly matched teams tussle in Midwest
David Backes spent the first 10 years of his NHL career with the Blues. Right now, though, he’s trying to lead Boston to its first postseason berth since 2014.
The veteran forward returns to the Gateway City in an enemy sweater tonight. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives St. Louis odds of -110 to emerge victorious. Conversely, the Bruins enter Scottrade Center as -110 underdogs.
Over the past week, Backes has markedly increased his production. The Minnesota native boasts goals in each of the first two contests on Boston’s current four-game trip. His 21 points also rank fourth among all of Claude Julien’s forwards.
While the Blues undoubtedly miss Backes’ blend of finishing ability and physicality up front, they remain in the thick of the Central Division race at 21-14-5. Ken Hitchcock’s crew wants to take full advantage of this evening’s opportunity, too, in light of what lurks around the corner. Beginning Thursday, the Note will embark on a extended trip out West.
The B’s (21-17-5) clearly understand the ills that can accompany such a journey. Nevertheless, the visitors should be able to capitalize on the inconsistent play of Blues goalie Jake Allen. Expect a tight affair well into the third period.
TUESDAY NHL FREE PICK: BRUINS/BLUES UNDER 5.5 GOALS