Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 3:30 PM EST odds are subject to change.
St. Louis +180 over Boston
7:05 PM EST. If this was one of the first five games of the year, the Blues might’ve been favorite. What we have after 10 games is a red-hot Boston team off to a sizzling start against an ice-cold Blues’ team off to a horrible start. Furthermore, the Blues have allowed five goals or more in four straight games while losing six in a row. How can a team as talented as St. Louis be this bad?
Part of the Blue Notes problems have been in net, where none of their goaltenders have been able to play with any consistency. Another problem was injuries to a couple of key players but it looks like they’re healthy coming into this one, as Pavel Buchnevich and Brandan Saad are both expected back for this one. We also like that the Blues have been off since Thursday so they’ve had three full days off to get refocused. St. Louis should be an elite team but right now they’re priced like they're in the same class as Chicago, Nashville and San Jose for example.
Boston shot out of the gate with 10 wins in its first 11 games. They had won seven in a row prior to losing to Toronto on Saturday night and so this is the B’s first game after snapping a long winning streak. There is also the entire Mitchell Miller controversy hanging over the team like a dark cloud. We have no idea if that is a concern but at the very least, it’s a distraction that cannot be ignored. Any distraction means the focus is not entirely on playing hockey. It’s embarrassing, frankly.
This was arguably the most boneheaded decision ever. They tell the kid to apologize before signing him so he shoots the victim an Instagram DM saying: sorry. The team follows this up with an all timer disaster press conference. Insane that they’d go into the presser without a bunch of prepared answers. It can’t be understated how much worse it made them look.
Then the player quotes. They clearly weren’t on board with this which makes the whole thing even more baffling. Then there was the information we heard from Patrice Bergeron, Nick Foligno and Brad Marchand over the weekend. Those guys — one captain, two franchise icons and three locker room leaders — were, to a man, not on board. Foligno called it “a tough pill to swallow” and a “tough thing to hear.” Marchand seemed baffled and, in spots, skeptical that Miller would be able to make the situation work. Bergeron, one of the most respected players of his generation, sounded like a guy who hadn’t slept in a couple of days. Alas — nope. Sweeney on Friday said that some of the team’s leaders wondered why the move happened in the first place. The front office, in other words, heard their concerns and ignored them. If it was a rebuilding team, we can somewhat see the logic behind taking the PR hit (would still be a mistake). For a team that’s 10-2 and supposedly on their last chance with Bergeron/Krejci, creating such a massive distraction just makes no sense at all.
Most of us are all for giving people second chances and yes everyone has done some questionable things from ages 12-17. Thing is, this guy is 20 and STILL gives off the impression that he couldn't care less about traumatizing a disabled kid for years. The fact that he sent an apology to all 31 teams prior to the draft instead of the victim tells you everything you need to know.
The whole family is rotten. If you saw the reports about his parents it’s obvious they’re complete pieces of garbage and that’s where Miller gets it from. His sister doesn’t seem too bright either. She put out a statement where she bragged about smashing a black guy for a year and literally said “I have black friends and therefore my family isn’t racist.” You can’t make this stuff up.
Every year there’s a controversial signing or two and the media blows it out of proportion. This was not the case for Miller. The guy is rotten to the core and does not deserve the privilege of playing in the best hockey league in the world but the Bruins figured they’d get away with it without a massive backlash from fans and media. Boy, were they wrong and now the organization is in “damage control” mode.
We have to trust that the Blues will be uber-focused here after three full days of digesting their weak start. St. Louis is without question one of the league's most talented teams while the Bruins are good but they're not this good and now the media and everyone else is asking questions that are not hockey related. That’s a distraction.
St. Louis +180 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.60)