Matchup: Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues
Date/Time: April 14th, 12:30 PM ET
Moneyline: Check Back Later
Total: Check Back Later
The Blackhawks took down the Detroit Red Wings in a shootout on Friday night, and that moved them to within seven points of clinching the top seed in the Western Conference and 10 points of locking up the No. 1 overall seed in the NHL playoffs, guaranteeing home ice advantage for every round. This is a team that just remains on fire defensively. The Blackhawks have allowed just five goals in their last four games, and the argument could be made that there should be a switch in the net minding situation. G Corey Crawford is 16-4-4 after last night’s shootout win, but G Ray Emery is 15-1-0 and has clearly been the better of the two goalies. The Chicago defense has been stellar in this run as well, and the only knock might be that the offense just isn’t quite as stellar now as it was perhaps a few weeks ago. Still, it’s tough to argue with C Jonathan Toews, who has 20 goals and 21 assists on the season, and it is equally difficult to fight about RW Patrick Kane and his 20 goals and 26 assists.
St. Louis was beaten down by the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Friday, and that put an end to a six-game winning streak. Some saw the loss coming, knowing that it was the second straight game on the road, the fourth road game in a stretch of six days, and the seventh game of the month, each of which has required travel as soon as the game was over with. The constant in these wins though, is that the defense has been flat out awesome. Not only did the team go over 200 minutes without allowing a goal in this stretch, but in the team’s last seven games, it has allowed just 21.6 shots on goal per game. That’s making life really easy on both G Jake Allen and G Brian Elliott when it has been needed most. G Jaroslav Halak, who has clearly been the best net minder on the team this season, remains out with a lower body injury that will at least cost him the rest of the regular season.
This is a game that means a whole heck of a lot more to the Blues than it does to the Blackhawks, but we are still worried about the weariness with which St. Louis seemed to be playing with on Friday. This is still a very short turnaround time to get ready for one of the best teams in the league. Instead of backing the Blues, we think that the ‘under’ is the right play, as both of these teams are just playing remarkably well at the moment on that side of the ice.
Chicago Blackhawks @ St. Louis Blues Pick: Under 5
Date and Time: 04/14/2013 12:30
Street: 1401 Clark Ave
Locality: St Louis
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.