Western Conference Quarterfinals
Minnesota vs St. Louis
Exel Energy Center, St. Paul, USA
St. Louis have beaten Minnesota in the last five consecutive head-to-head meetings. Will Dean Evason's men be able to do better in cup battles? We predict that the Musicians will be closer to qualifying in the next round.Claim Your Welcome Bonus!
Minnesota are a team that has made serious progress over the last decade. After a string of poor seasons, the Wild have become a regular contributor to Cup battles, but they cannot get past the Western Conference semifinals. Dean Evason's team had a great run in the playoffs last season when they handled Vegas in the first round but still lost in the seventh game 2-6 and the series with a 3-4 victory.
Since then, Minnesota have become even stronger. The club's management strengthened the roster, and Kirill Kaprizov became the Wild true leader, breaking several records for Wildcats players. The Green and Red had a particularly strong finish to the regular season, picking up points in 12 of their last 13 games and moving into second place in the Western Conference standings. The only bad news for them was St Louis in the opening round of the playoffs.
St. Louis are one of the most consistent teams in the NHL regular season. The Blues have failed to make the playoffs in only a few seasons, except they have never made it to the coveted Stanley Cup. That all changed in 2019, when, under Craig Berube, they became champions after all. Alas, after that triumph, they stopped at the Western Conference quarterfinal stage for two consecutive cup campaigns, losing the series to Vancouver and Colorado 2-4 and 0-4, respectively.
With the regular season back on track, there was little doubt that St Louis would make the playoffs. The Blue and Yellows made a fantastic run in late March, going 16 straight games without a point. Craig Berube had given the leaders a chance to rest, so there were losses to Colorado and Vegas in the last two games, but they couldn't ruin anything.
History of head-to-head meetings between Minnesota and St. Louis
In the NHL playoffs, the teams had two series between them. In 2015, the Minnesota players celebrated the victory in the confrontation - 4:2. The rivals met again in the Stanley Cup in 2017 when St Louis managed a convincing 4-1 win.
Expert Betting Tips
Minnesota and St. Louis had a very good regular season, avoiding serious slumps, which is why they finished second and fourth in the standings, respectively, and were separated by only four points over 82 games. The encounter between the Wild and the Blues would seem extremely even if not for one factor - the statistics of their head-to-head encounters. Craig Berube's wards have been stronger than the St. Paul's squad in five head-to-head encounters, so the Blues are the favorites for the upcoming contest. To place a bet on the St. Louis qualification is possible at odds of about 2.07.
According to the results of the last regular championship, Minnesota and St. Louis are among the most productive teams in the league. The Blues scored 309 goals in 82 games (3.77 average per game) - the third-best result in the NHL, while the Wild managed 305 goals (3.72 average per game) - fifth-best in the league. Moreover, both teams rank outside the top 10 in defensive efficiency. With such a tense and intriguing encounter threatening to drag on for as many games as possible, we see Total Over 36.5 pucks in the series.
Going back to the performance of Minnesota and St. Louis, separate attention should be paid to the statistics of personal meetings between the teams. In their last four head-to-head encounters, the Blues and Wild scored 38 goals against each other (9.50 goals per game average), which is very high even for the standards of the National Hockey League. The likelihood is high that their rivals in the playoffs will be more reliant on their own goals so that they won't indulge in a goal extravaganza every time, but they'll easily do so in a single game. In such a situation, we predict Total Over 9.5 pucks for the highest-scoring game of the series.
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