Blues return to Stanley Cup Final as underdogs on series odds

Alex Pietrangelo explains to the media why he thinks the St. Louis Blues have enough experience in big games to handle the Stanley Cup Final.

The St. Louis Blues will be making their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Final in 49 years when they hit the ice for Game 1 against the Boston Bruins on Monday as +130 road underdogs on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

St. Louis has steadily gained momentum during this year’s playoffs. The club faced a 2-1 series deficit against San Jose in the Western Conference Final before tallying three straight victories to earn a berth in this year’s Stanley Cup Final, which opens with Monday night’s matchup at TD Garden.

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St. Louis surrendered just two total goals in three straight wins to eliminate the Sharks in six games, and has surrendered two or fewer goals in seven of nine outings, capped by a decisive 5-1 win as -200 home chalk on May 21.

However, the Blues will be facing a Bruins squad that has also played stifling defence on their way to their first Stanley Cup Final berth since 2013. Boston rides a seven-game win streak into Game 1, and with victories in five of six contests on home ice, the Bruins have emerged as -150 favourites to open up the series with a win.

Tuukka Rask has emerged as a difference-maker in Boston. The Bruins netminder surrendered just five total goals to the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final, while compiling an impressive .956 save percentage, and will look toward Game 1 as a short -120 favourite on the odds to win the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Rask is chased by a pair of Blues on the Conn Smythe Trophy odds, with Jaden Schwartz sitting second at +325, while rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington rounds out the front of the pack at +350.

Schwartz took a step back during the regular season but has emerged as a clutch performer in the playoffs, racking up 12 goals and four assists through 19 games. He’s netted a pair of hat tricks over that span, with his three goals making the difference in the Blues’ 5-0 shutout of San Jose in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final.

Binnington’s dominant performance between the pipes proved to be a major factor in the Blues’ series victory over the Sharks. The rookie netminder has allowed two or fewer goals in 12 of 19 playoff outings.

However, the heroics of Binnington and Schwartz have not been enough to buoy the Blues on the series prices at betting sites, where they lag as +130 underdogs to win their first-ever Stanley Cup, well back of the Bruins, who sit as -150 favourites.

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