*1 PM ET* Rogers' 10* Winter Classic WIPEOUT >> 5-1-1 NHL Run!
Chicago vs. St. Louis,
01/02/2017 13:00 EDT,
Score: 1 - 4
Total: -140/+5 Over
The set-up: The 23-11-5 St. Louis Blues finally get an opportunity to host their first outdoor game when the arch-rival Chicago Blackhawks (23-11-5) pay a visit Monday afternoon for the Winter Classic at Busch Stadium. The forecast calls for warmer temperatures and a chance of rain as the Blues become the 11th team to play in the annual contest while the Blackhawks are 0-2-0 in their Winter Classic appearances in 2009 and 2015.
Chicago: The Blackhawks lead the Central Division of the Western Conference with 51 points (the Blues are in third-place with 43 points) byt have struggled lately, going 1-3-1 in their last five games.Artemi Panarin leads the team with 38 points after recording 15 in the last 10 contests and Patrick Kane boasts nine in an eight-game stretch to stand at 37 overall - giving the Blackhawks one of the best one-two punches in the league. However, veteran Marian Hossa, who shares the team lead with fellow forward Artem Anisimov at 16 goals, is not expected to play.The Blackhawks will also be without Marcus Kruger, who was placed on injured reserve on Sunday because of an upper-body injury suffered on Friday night.
St. Louis: The Blues are looking forward to today's game. “You put it on your bucket list once they start doing those outdoor games,” St. Louis center Paul Stastny told reporters. “But to be able to host a Winter Classic, it’s not even a dream, you don’t even think about stuff like that.” H really use two points, as they come in after a 6-6-2 month of December. St. Louis finished an up-and-down month with a 4-0 loss to Nashville at home. “If we expect to win on a regular basis, we’re going to have to be way better five-on-five than the way we’re playing right now,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters. “We’re sitting there relying on our power play, relying on our penalty kill to win hockey games. We just have to create more. … give up less.”
The pick: It's great to be part of the Winter Classic but a home game at Scottrade Center might have been a better situation, as the Blues are 14-3-4 on home ice. Rain is in the forecast and there is a possibility the game could be delayed or even postponed until Tuesday. "That's the fun part about these types of games, all the different kinds of challenges and things that you run into," Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith said. "I like that sort of thing, it's different, it changes it up." Assuming the game is played, the Over is a 10* play.