On the man-disadvantage, they concede the 11th most goals per 60, and allow the 11th most expected goals against per 60. The are actually quite good at supressing high-danger chances on the kill, being 9th. With the 23rd best save percentage and 27th best high-danger save percentage on the kill, these numbers should not especially scare the Devils. For a unit that has gone 2 for 8 since Jack Hughes got injured, and 0 for 4 in the last two games, this is a good opportunity to get the powerplay rolling. As you can see in the depth chart above, the Blues’ defense, from a personel perspective, is as bad as the above numbers would require.
This top-heavy group should not be the toughest test for our Devils defense. As long as the main guys — O’Reilly, Kyrou, Thomas, Buchnevich — are nullified, there is little secondary scoring of note. At 5-on-5, the Blues are also sub-average defensively, 27th in goals against, 27th in expected goals against, and 23rd in high-danger chances against (NaturalStattrick). Add to this the 6th worst 5-on-5 team save percentage, and there is not a lot of positives to write about here. The St Louis penalty kill is similarly below-average at 22th in the league.
Clearly, the Blues are a bad team, and have played equivalently bad hockey recently. Out of the Florida game, St Louis picked up a couple injuries, subtracting from an otherwise pretty healthy roster. Brandon Saad and Torey Krug both left following the end of the second period. The Blues were leading 3-1 at the time, so it was not like they had already won the game and decided to rest these guys. As far as I am aware, no news has been released regarding their status, so consider their participation against the Devils up in the air. These are both key guys for the Blues this year (see the depth chart below), so if they do indeed miss out, that would be a boon for the Devils, removing two of the few quality players the Blues actually possess. As I write this, the Athletic’s Depth Charts have not updated for a while, meaning it contains some misinformation.
St. Louis Blues - New Jersey Devils live - 17 February 2023