NHL Game of the Week: Maple Leafs at Canucks
Maple Leafs at Canucks: The NHL game of the week will be the St. Louis Blues travelling to Los Angeles and taking on the Los Angeles Kings on Friday 3/5 at 10 pm EST.
One major reason this is the NHL game of the week is because it is on primetime on a Friday night and features two hot teams fighting for western division supremacy. The Blues come into this game 13-8, second in the western division and the Kings come in at 9-8 fifth place in the western division. The Kings need to win these games if they want to stay relevant in the playoff picture.
The Blues may also finally get some reinforcements. Star forward Vladimir Tarasenko has a very good chance of making his 2021 season debut after missing the first two months with a shoulder injury. Blues starting goalie Jordan Binnington has struggled against this Kings teams as he’s started two games and lost both of them.
He has had good games against them but the Blues couldn’t give him any goal support but with the addition of Tarasenko and the emergence of David Perron this game could be a different story. Binnington has posted a 2 GAA (goals against average) and a .91 save percentage against the Kings this year.
The Kings on the other hand just got handed a reality check after winning six games in a row dating back to last week. The Kings had their six game win streak snapped by the Minnesota Wild and they have now lost two straight also to the Wild.
The first line has been stepping up since 2012 and it took them longer than usual but they finally have hit their stride. Captain Dustin Brown has five goals in his last seven games, assistant captain Anze Kopitar leads the team with four goals and 19 assists totaling 23 points on the season and star defenseman Drew Doughty has five goals and 12 assists and even played 30 minutes on the ice last game against the Wild.
This game will feature two Stanley Cup winning goalies in Jonathan Quick for the Kings and Jordan Binnington for the Blues. Quick is having a down year as he is posting a 5-5 record with a 2.8 goals against average and a 90 % save percentage.
Jordan Binnington is having a similar year to Quick, posting an 8-9 record with a 90 % save percentage to pair with a 2.6 goals against average, we have a great goalie matchup from the numbers standpoint.
This game will also lead any NBA fans into the All-star break as the NBA will be taking a six day break from action after Thursday night’s game between the Sacramento Kings and Portland Trailblazers.
Vegas has opened the odds on this game with the Blues being favored by 1.5 goals with the over/under set at 6.5. This is a fair line with the Blues placed at -143 and the Kings are +122, could go either way but I can’t wait to watch.
You can catch the St. Louis Blues taking on the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center on Friday March 5th at 9 pm EST/ 6 pm PST on NHL game pass or NHL Network or your local Los Angeles and St. Louis sport channel.