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St. Louis Blues Odds - Youth infusion paying major dividends

Posted by Don Melrose on 9/17/2009 10:39:36 AM
best hockey linesFor years, St. Louis Blues odds haven’t meant much, representing a bottom-dwelling, rebuilding team several years away from sportsbook relevance. That changed last season; years of stockpiling young talent finally paid off as the Blues compiled the league’s best second-half record and returned to the postseason. Is more improvement coming?

St. Louis Blues Odds: Blues are young, fast and well-coached

  • A good mix of veteran leadership, goal scoring and playmaking up front
  • Defensemen are talented but injury-prone
  • Special teams among the league’s best

St. Louis Blues odds maker breakdown: OFFENSE
The Blues don’t have 100-point offensive talent but can score more than enough thanks to their deep group of speedy, young forwards. Blue chippers Patrik Berglund, T.J. Oshie and David Perron are creative players with high upsides. Brad Boyes and David Backes are the 30-goal men, though Backes isn’t likely to repeat his breakout 2008-09 season. Rugged Keith Tkachuk, underrated Andy McDonald and returning Paul Kariya provide the veteran presence. This is a quietly solid offensive group.

St. Louis Blues odds maker breakdown: DEFENSE
Like the forward corps, the St. Louis defense is young but has a high ceiling. Barret Jackman, Carlo Colaiacovo and Eric Brewer combine veteran leadership and physicality, but all three are injury-prone. St. Louis has to hope mega-prospects Erik Johnson and Alex Pietrangelo, both of whom battled injuries of their own last season, can shed the “fragile” label and play full campaigns. Johnson has potential to become a Jay Bouwmeester-esque, 30-minute-a-night guy and Pietrangelo could become a premiere offensive defenseman if he sticks with the big club. But, sheesh, someone on that blueline has to stay healthy for the Blues’ hockey betting chances to improve.

St. Louis Blues odds maker breakdown: GOALTENDING
The Blues’ netminding isn’t so strong that online betting fans would call it a “plus,” but it’s certainly not a liability. Chris Mason was outstanding for St. Louis down the stretch and is still young enough to become a bona fide No. 1. If he falters, Ty Conklin is one of the league’s best backups and can excel as a starter in short bursts.

St. Louis Blues odds maker breakdown: SPECIAL TEAMS
It may surprise you to learn that the Blues are one of the NHL’s special teams juggernauts. Their power play topped 20 per cent last season and could improve thanks to full season of McDonald, Kariya’s return from injury and the possible presence of Pietrangelo and Johnson at the point. The penalty kill ranked third in the league and there’s no reason to expect it to regress; coach Andy Murray knows how to run a shutdown unit.

St. Louis Blues odds maker breakdown: SEASON OUTLOOK
The future is extremely bright for St. Louis; the Blues have done a phenomenal job building a skilled, young core and should keep rising up the standings. However, last year was so far ahead of schedule that the Blues may plateau a bit this season. Expect a similar result – a low playoff seeding – but no major gains compared to 2008-09.

Bookmark the Betting Edge at for sports betting team previews on every NHL squad. Want St. Louis Blues odds to win the Stanley Cup? Check out our sportsbook.

Don Melrose is's hockey expert.



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