It had been awhile since St. Louis last hosted a Stanley Cup Final game. It was way back on May 5, 1970, when the Bruins defeated the Blues by a score of 6-2. Nearly 50 years later, it was déjà vu for St. Louis, falling victim to a 7-2 drubbing at the hands of the same Boston franchise that ultimately swept the team in the 1970 finals. They’ll have another go at it tonight, looking to improve their ugly franchise record of 0-7 in home SCF games (St. Louis overall SCF record is 1-14 – yikes).
RYAN’S RULES FOR BUILDING OPTIMAL NHL SHOWDOWN LINEUPS
RULE #1: Set minimum salary to $42,000, maximum to $50,000
RULE #2: Use at least 4 players for one team
RULE #3: Don’t play both team’s goaltenders
RULE #4: Play no more than 2 defensemen
RULE #5: Do not full-stack any lines
RULE #6: No more than 1 mini-stack
RULE #7: Use only lines 1 & 2 when mini-stacking
RULE #8: Multi-enter whenever possible
BOSTON BRUINS @ ST. LOUIS BLUES (8:08pm Faceoff)
Game Four (Boston leads 2-1)
Implied Odds: St. Louis 53% | Total: 5.5
For the first time in his rookie campaign, Jordan Binnington was yanked from the starter’s crease on Saturday night, after allowing 5 goals against on just 19 shots. It was a rare misstep for Binnington – a Calder Trophy candidate – but one he should be able to bounce back from. In eight starts following a playoff loss, the rookie has gone 6-2, with a 1.84 GAA and 93.5% save percentage.
BOS1 was used sparingly throughout the last 30-ish minutes of game three, but the Bruins generated 11 shot attempts (7 SOG) in just 7 minutes with their top line on the ice. As has been the case for most of the playoffs, this is the kind of chalk you want to eat. Bergeron and Pastrnak was the mini-stack you wanted on Saturday night, but that could change from game to game. Multi-entering with one of more variations of each pair is what I’d recommend.
The Bruins second-liners combined for just a single point (DeBrusk assist) in a 7-2 game. I’ve been talking about their slow pace since the Eastern Conference Finals, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise if you rostered them. I’m going to continue fading all three.
It’s status quo on the St. Louis side for me. The top line did a nice job of generating shots and chances, despite the Bruins clogging up the neutral zone and defending their lead for much of the game. Tarasenko ended up with 6 shots on goal, and has scored in 5 of his last seven games, so it’s either Tank/Schwartz or Tank/Schenn for me.
We did see a spark from the O’Reilly line, and Zach Sanford will move up to play with ROR and Perron tonight. I’m not personally going to be stacking them, but I will have some one-off exposure to both O’Reilly and Sanford – you can’t beat the $3k price tag on him.
Favorite Mini-Stacks: STL –Schenn/Tarasenko; Schwartz/Tarasenko; BOS – Bergeron/Marchand; Bergeron/Pastrnak; Marchand/Pastrnak
One-Off Player Pool: STL – Binnington, Pietrangelo, Parayko, Dunn, Schenn, O’Reilly, Bozak, Sundqvist, Tarasenko, Schwartz, Sanford; BOS – Rask, Krug, McAvoy, Chara, Bergeron, Kuraly, Marchand, Pastrnak, Nordstrom