So this game got a lot more interesting over the past 24 hours.
This battle of the top two teams in the West Division should be the best of the night. Alex Pietrangelo was going to face his former team in their barn for the first time. Marc-Andre Fleury was going to battle young goalie Jordan Binnington fresh off a new six-year, $36 million contract.
Neither of those things will happen when the Vegas Golden Knights visit the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center on Friday. If you were on the fence about using your sports betting prowess on this game before, you might have your mind changed at the end.
|Vegas Golden Knights||+185 (-1.5)||-130 (Over 5.5)||-115|
|St. Louis Blues||-225 (+1.5)||+110 (Under 5.5)||-105|
Golden Knights Goalie Dilemma
Marc-Andre Fleury has been one of, if not arguably the best goaltender in the NHL this season.
Among goalies with at least 10 starts, his 1.73 goals-against average and .938 save percentage is tops in the league. That’s even better than Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy, who is likely Fleury’s biggest competition for the Vezina Trophy.
But now that progress seems to have been halted. Fleury was added to the league’s COVID-19 protocol list on Thursday and his immediate future is in doubt. Of course, that means he’s out Friday for the first-place Golden Knights.
So who gets the call Friday? It’s going to be between Oscar Dansk and Logan Thompson, with the other starting the second end of the back-to-back on Saturday. Thompson made his NHL debut Wednesday in relief of Fleury after giving up four goals in 50 minutes against Minnesota.
Dansk won his first game in almost four years one week ago against the San Jose Sharks. He could benefit greatly from more starts so that the Golden Knights see what they have in him.
Whoever is in goal will need to be up to the task of slowing down this red-hot Blues team, who has scored 23 goals during their six-game point streak.
Big Money Binnington
The Blues are going all-in on Jordan Binnington.
The goalie, who won the Stanley Cup with St. Louis in 2019, signed a six-year, $36 million contract extension on Friday to be the Blues’ netminder of the future.
Now, I know Binnington can be a tad eccentric, more so in the fact that he wants to pick fights with random opponents in sight and throw a temper tantrum.
There’s no denying their teams would want goalie entering their prime with the chance to get even better. Binnington’s 2.69 GAA and .908 save percentage are a bit of his career pace, but with this condensed season and no reliable backup behind him, take this season with a grain of salt.
When Binnington is hot, he can be a top-10 goalie in the league.
Who Ya Got?
The Golden Knights are down their star goalie and star defenseman. Meanwhile, their offense went cold during the two-game sweep at the hands of the Wild.
The Blues, however, have not looked good against the Golden Knights as of late. If Binnington starts, he’s given up 10 goals in his past two starts against Vegas, albeit at T-Mobile Arena.
Our last two picks on the road have been solid, and I’d like to think the Golden Knights will respond in kind after having a rough go the past couple of games. Sports betting is a weird cycle, man.
Pick: Golden Knights -115