Regular season result: Blues (3-2-0)
Home-ice advantage: Minnesota
Storyline: Mike Yeo returns to Minnesota
Forward edge: Minnesota
The best forward in this series is Vladimir Tarasenko, but Minnesota’s offense has been better by committee all season. Tarasenko is a game-changing forward, but I give the edge to Eric Staal, Zach Parise, Mikael Granlund, and company.
Defense edge: Minnesota
Ryan Suter is a great defenseman. Alex Pietrangelo and Colton Parayko are great players, but Minnesota’s responsible 200-foot game to compliment their solid six defenders gives them the edge here. Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Jonas Brodin, and company just edge out St. Louis’ back end.
Devan Dubnyk is a better netminder than Jake Allen. Allen plays behind a solid defensive group and a team playing well, but the edge here is with Dubnyk,
Special teams edge: Minnesota
Both the Blues and Wild finished in the top-ten in the league on the power play this year. As far as the penalty kill goes, your goalie must be your best penalty killer. As I stated before, I’m taking Dubnyk over Allen every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Wild have the edge here.
Prediction: Minnesota in 6
I picked St. Louis to get edged out in every category, but this is going to be a close series. Minnesota somewhat backed into the playoffs while the Blues played well down the stretch after Mike Yeo took over for Ken Hitchcock. The Blues are solid in every facet of the game. However, Minnesota is better in most, if not all, categories and have home-ice advantage. The way the Wild have played of late has me nervous about the prediction, but I’m finally picking Minnesota to win a series in six that is very, very close.