The Blues' Game 1 Victory Over the Wild Turned the Series on Its Head

Jake Allen was out of his mind last night, recording 51 saves as St. Louis won Game 1 in Minnesota. How does that result impact the Blues' chances of winning this series?

By any measure, the Minnesota Wild had a superb regular season and are one of the NHL's best teams.

The Wild won 49 games and tallied 108 points, the second-most in the Western Conference. According to our numbers, they were the third-best team in hockey, the top team in the West, and had a 7.8% chance of winning the title -- which was, again, the best mark in the West.

So it was no surprise that Minnesota was, per our numbers, a big favorite in their first-round playoff matchup against the St. Louis Blues, a quality squad but one that sat 11th in our power rankings. Prior to last night's Game 1, our models gave the Wild a 61.5% chance of besting the Blues in the best-of-seven series, making them the biggest first-round favorite in the West.

Then Jake Allen happened.

The Blues' goalie played an all-time great game Wednesday night, turning aside 51 shots in a remarkable showing as St. Louis took Game 1 in Minnesota. It was the third-most shots against in a playoff game in Blues history, and the 51 saves were a career high for Allen.

There's standing on your head, and then there's what Allen did in this one.

A lot can change in one night. Not only did the 51-stop masterpiece completely reverse Allen's playoff history --
he owned a .902 save-percentage in 12 career postseason appearances -- it flipped the series on its head.

As we touched on in the intro, according to our models, the Wild entered the series with a 61.5% chance to win the series. Here's how the likelihood of the different scenarios broke down.

Scenario Odds
Blues win in 4 4.32%
Blues win in 5 8.34%
Blues win in 6 13.49%
Blues win in 7 12.35%
Blues win series 38.50%
Wild win in 4 9.29%
Wild win in 5 17.09%
Wild win in 6 17.44%
Wild win in 7 17.68%
Wild win series 61.50%

Now, with the Blues up 1-0, it's St. Louis who is the favorite. Our numbers give the Blues a 56.9% chance of eliminating Minnesota.

Wild win in 59.05%
Wild win in 614.99%
Wild win in 719.05%
Wild win series43.09%
Blues win in 49.88%
Blues win in 514.98%
Blues win in 618.03%
Blues win in 714.02%
Blues win series56.91%

Clearly, the Blues are no lock to pull the upset -- and if they allow 50-plus shots each night, they'll be in trouble -- but the Game 1 win improved their series odds by 18.41%.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are merely one night old, and they're already getting crazy.