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Western Conference Quarterfinal
St. Louis +120 over Minnesota
9:30 PM EST. OT included. We’re not ones to say “We told you so,” but to Wild coach Dean Evanson, “We told you so.” With the decision to start Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 1, Evanson made it known to the hockey world that he has absolutely no idea what he is doing. Seriously. We can criticize because we called our shot before Game 1, which is all we ask. Don’t call your shot after the game is in the bag. Don’t tell us that Fleury is garbage and Evanson is an idiot in advance of Game 2 if you were one of the many talking heads who thought going with the playoff experience of the 37-year-old “MAF” was the prudent choice. We know who you are, we watch the talk shows, the panels and the studio honks spew their hot takes. The point is, if you are in the business and you’re looking for a spot on the Wild hate wagon, we don’t have any more room.
What about the Blues? If one had concerns about Ville Husso they were dispelled with his 37 save shutout. That’s right, it’s not like the Wild played as poorly as the 4-0 final would have you believe, it’s just that the coach made a bad decision and the team is not done paying for it. Coach Evanson has made his bed as the saying goes.
St. Louis, much like Carolina, was not the better team in Game 1, not by a country mile, but that doesn’t matter when one can score at will. It also takes pressure off them and now it’ll be the Blues with nothing to lose here in a GREAT state of mind.
The flood gates opened early in “The North Star State,” as the Blues popped two goals past Fleury in period one and one more each in the second and third on their way to a 4-0 win. The Blues exposed the Wild as an undisciplined side, as Minny racked up 28 minutes in penalties. We are mindful that there could have been an overreaction to just one game, but the efficient market has taken a stand in Game 2 with the Wild being bet up from -120 to the inflated price you see now.
Full offense intended to Evanson and Fleury. We did not see anything in Game 1 that would suggest the Wild will be in any better shape tonight. Evanson can’t help himself and so of course he’s going right back to his aged ‘tender, “Easy decision, really. “We debated going with Cam for sure. But there were no goals that were a direct result of Marc-Andre Fleury, that’s for sure. He made first saves on all of them and had to make 2, 3 after that”, said Evanson. Oh, so you know that Fleury is a rebound factory? And that’s not his fault somehow? Cool, cool. That must be super reassuring to the rest of the Wild who played in front of Cam Talbot during his 16-game unbeaten streak to end the regular season. Talbot hasn’t lost a game since March 1, that ain’t good enough for ya, coach?
If Evanson didn’t lose the locker room prior to Game 1 with his boneheaded decision, he’s most definitely done his best to make sure it happens before the puck is dropped for Game 2.
St. Louis +120 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.40)